New to Orthodoxy? New to our parish? This page may help you feel more comfortable.
Many visitors to St. Elias are Orthodox Christians who are already familiar with the way we worship in our church. However, we often get visitors who have never been in an Orthodox church before. If you are preparing for your first visit to St. Elias, there are some things that you would probably like to know. This article is designed to cover those basics.
The Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, founded by Jesus Christ and His apostles. It is organically and historically the same Church that came fully into being at Pentecost (Acts 2). Today, the Orthodox constitute the second largest Christian body in the world. Some 200 million people identify themselves as “Orthodox,” most of whom live in Russia, Greece, Romania and other eastern European countries, as well as throughout the Middle East. Approximately 4 million Orthodox live in the United States, with several million living in Canada. Our parish is within the jurisdiction (not denomination) of the Antiochian Archdiocese— the ancient church of Antioch, where
the disciples were for the first time called Christians (Acts 11:26). Though immigrants in the last two centuries established churches that were daughters of other dioceses, today the Orthodox in North America are in the process of moving towards a unified North American Orthodox Church. St. Elias Cathedral was established by immigrants from the Middle East in the early 20th century. Read a little more about our cathedral.
Though there are a variety of books and other online resources, we do hope that you’ll visit an Orthodox Church to become part of its life and worship. As much as we value the internet, the ancient Christian life is not lived online but in community. Should you visit our community at St. Elias, we hope that you feel welcome and will continue to join us in the love and worship of our Savior, Jesus Christ.