"I Am New to Christ The Savior!"
Welcome and thank you for taking the time to learn more about Christ The Savior Orthodox Church! We are an Orthodox Christian community located in Southbury, Connecticut. Whether you are a guest, an inquirer, or a visitor from another parish, we are pleased and glad that you are here. As a visitor to Christ The Savior, we want you to be as comfortable as possible as you become acquainted with us. This section covers some practical questions that you may have as a newcomer or inquirer. If you have questions that are not answered below, please feel free to CONTACT US.
Are Non-Orthodox Visitors Welcome?
Yes! Christ The Savior is comprised of both people born into the Orthodox faith as well as converts to the Orthodox Church, and we are always happy to share our faith with newcomers, inquirers, and visitors. We are a diverse and dynamic community and come from a variety of backgrounds.
We usually have services throughout the week, and you are welcome to any of them. If you are visiting for the first time, we especially encourage you to attend the Divine Liturgy service, which begins on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. When you arrive, a greeter will welcome you, hand you a bulletin and "Welcome Packet," and help you navigate your way around. All of our services are in English, and most often we celebrate the divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the same liturgical service used by all Orthodox churches worldwide. We have prayer books available for you to follow along in the book, if you would like.
Following the Divine Liturgy, you are invited to join us for Coffee Hour, which is a good time to get to know our congregation and to meet our priest, Fr. Moses Locke. If you do not wish to stay for Coffee Hour, no problem ... we encourage to follow your own pace and level of interest.
How long is the service?
The Sunday 9:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy is usually about 90 minutes long. We pray the hours before Liturgy, they start at 9:15 and run directly into Liturgy. Other services vary.
Is there are a dress code?
We encourage everyone to dress appropriately, modestly, and respectfully. That can include jeans or suits, long dresses or skirts, dress t-shirts or shirts and ties, dress shoes or athletic shoes. We do ask, however, that you refrain from wearing shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops, low-cut or strapless dresses (unless covered by a sweater, etc.), or shirts with inappropriate images. Men are asked not to wear head coverings (baseball caps, etc.) in the church area of the building.
Is childcare provided?
We do not have childcare because we encourage children to be present in church for the services. We believe that this participation is an important part of a child's spiritual formation. If you must take your child out for any reason, that’s no problem. We understand it is difficult to have young children in Church, so don’t feel bad if you have to come and go a few times during the service.
Is Sunday School for children available?
Yes. Sunday School is available during coffee hour. The Children eat and then the bell is rung.
When should I stand or sit?
The traditional posture for prayer and worship in the Orthodox Church is standing, and in many Old World churches seating is limited mostly to the elderly or disabled. Like most North American Orthodox churches, however, Christ The Savior has plenty of seating available, and generally the congregation does a mixture of standing and sitting. We encourage everybody to stand, as they are able, during the Gospel reading, the Little and Great Entrances, the distribution of Holy Communion, when the priest gives a blessing, and at the Dismissal. That sounds like a lot to keep up with, but really it's not hard ... you can just follow the congregation.
Can Non-Orthodox Receive the Holy Eucharist?
Orthodox priests are only allowed to serve the Holy Eucharist to baptized members in good standing in the Orthodox Church, who have recently confessed, and who have prepared themselves with fasting and prayer beforehand. This is the apostolic teaching of the ancient Church and has not changed in the nearly 2000 years of its history.
Can Non-Orthodox receive the blessing of the priest and the "blessed bread" at the end of the service?
Yes! At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the congregation will begin lining up to receive the blessing of the priest. There will be a basket of "blessed bread" nearby, and you are encouraged to take a couple of pieces of the bread.
What is Orthodox worship music like?
Most of the Orthodox service is congregational singing. Traditionally, Orthodox do not use instruments. Usually, a choir leads the congregation in a capella harmony, with the level of congregational response varying from parish to parish. The music is solemn, prayerful, and intended to lead the faithful to a deeper worship experience.
What if I have further questions?
New visitors will find that there are many new things to experience in an Orthodox Church service. In fact, they are often surprised at how different the experience is when compared to other church services. Feel free to go at your own pace, and don't hesitate to ask questions either at church or SEND US AN EMAIL.