We extend a warm welcome to those who are visiting Saints Cyril and Methodius online and in person. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact us.
For Seekers & Visitors
The internet is a wonderful place to research and find information about Orthodoxy. However, if you are in the Lorain-Sandusky-Erie County area, we encourage you to visit us in person or to request a tour of our building. If you are planning a visit, please contact us. We look forward to worshiping with you.
For those who are new to our parish or new to Orthodoxy, we invite you to read through this page for some helpful hints.
Types of Services
The Orthodox Church has over 2000 years of musical, written, and cultural tradition. There are several kinds of services that occur in the Church's calendar. The few listed below are the most common services celebrated in our parish:
- Divine Liturgy is the culmination of our worship at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. This is the most heavily-attended and comprehensive of our service offerings. It culminates in the celebration of our Lord's sacrifice in the Eucharist (or Communion) for the Faithful.
- Vespers is Saturday evening as announced. Vespers is a beautiful evening prayer service, peppered with psalms and scripture. On certain occasions, a Veperal Liturgy is held, during which the usual vespers service is followed by the Eucharist (or Communion).
- Kathisma services are held as announced. The Psalter (Psalms) are divided into twenty kathismata, one of which is read or chanted when this service is celebrated.
- Moleben is a prayer service in honor of either our Lord Jesus Christ or a specific saint or martyr (such as the patron saint of the parish).
What To Expect When You Visit
If you have a Protestant or non-Christian background, you may be surprised by the sights, smells, and sounds that surround you during our Church services. Those with liturgical backgrounds (such as Lutherans, Episcopalians, or Roman Catholics) may be familiar with the format of our services and possibly some of the traditions that we keep or the hymns that are used. We invite everyone to ask about the reasons behind our practices, especially where it differs from your experience.
The information below may help to explain some of the dominant features of each service:
- Icons: In early days of the Church, illiteracy and the lack of printed materials restricted the movement of the gospel message. The Church "writes" icons to be visual representations of Scripture, thereby telling the story of the Gospel in artistic medium. We do not worship icons or the people in them. Just as you might carry a photo of your family in your wallet, icons help us to honor our loved ones in the Body of Christ.
- Incense: Incense represents prayers of the saints lifting up into the heavens before God. This is evident from Scripture that is sung in the Vespers service: "Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (Psalm 140:2). In the book of Revelation, there are two places where incense is mentioned in the context of being a worship tool: Revelation 5:8 and Revelation 8:4. Historically, incense also filled a practical role in helping the early Christians worship in tombs and catacombs where they could escape the rage of Nero and other rulers who sought their destruction.
- Music: Even today, many Orthodox churches make do without any musical instruments; the chant tradition is kept in our parish by a dedicated group of singers. Virtually every Sunday, changes in the hymns are made for not only the epistle and gospel readings, but for the "feast" that is being celebrated. If you listen closely, you will hear theological teaching come through in the service just as it had in the 1st century - by spoken word. Parishners and guests are encouraged to follow along and sing with the choir.
- Movement: You will find that there is a lot of movement in the service! The deacon leads the service in prayer, and he is often moving in and out of the altar and around the building. The parishioners use their hands, heads, and feet in the services for crossing, bowing, and standing. It is a flurry of activity, but it helps us to keep our minds focused when we make our bodies follow along. Do not feel obliged to join in the activity; do what is comfortable to you.
- Dress: Dress comfortably. You may see ladies with hats or gentlemen in nice slacks, but "proper attire" is secondary to being in worship. Our only request is that ladies wear modest clothing.
Helpful Hints For Visitors
- Bread may be offered to you during Liturgy. Some visitors are confused by such an offering, but we assure you: it is NOT Communion bread. The bread that is offered to visitors (and that we offer to each other) is called "antidoron," or blessed bread. As with most other Orthodox practices, this tradition has practical reasons: it serves as a break for our morning fast. The bread is baked new for each service according to a very ancient tradition, and it's unlike anything you will find in the grocery store!
- The "Divine Liturgy" spiral-bound book in the pews can be used to follow along with the service.
- If you need any help finding a seat or if you need assistance of any kind, please let one of the ushers in the back of the church sanctuary know about your need. We will be most glad to help.
- You are most cordially invited to spend time with us in "coffee hour" after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. This usually involves a brief coffee and donuts and an opportunity to ask questions that you may have. In addition, our lending library in the narthex (vestibule) allows you to browse the items that we have, including books on theology and prayer, icons, and children's books.
- Please fill out one of our Visitor Cards on the table in the narthex. You may hand any completed card to a greeter.