We enter the temple of God with reverence, humbly and quietly so as not to disturb those who are in prayer and as an expression of faith and awareness of the presence of the Lord, his saints and angels. No loud talking, irrelevant conversations, joking, etc. should take place in the Narthex or in the Sanctuary at anytime. To stand during worship is to affirm that we are in the presence of the Almighty God. The elderly, the sick and children may be seated as needed. There are specific parts of the service during which no one should be moving about. These parts of the service are:
The Small Entrance, the Epistle and Gospel; the Cherubic Hymn, Great Entrance, Nicene Creed, the hymn Se Ymnoumen, the prayers: "Take, eat, this is my Body..." and, "we offer to you these gifts...", the prayer of institution: "And make this bread the precious Body of your Christ...", the Lord's Prayer, Holy Communion, the sermon, dismissal prayer, any special services, e.g, memorial services. Whenever the Priest is facing the people or outside of the altar, everyone should stand wherever they are.
Dressing for God: The church is not just any ordinary place. We dress as modestly and respectfully as we can, because we are in the presence of God Himself. If invited by any earthly king or queen, we would dress in our finest clothes. Therefore, we should dress similarly when accepting an invitation from the Lord of Heaven. The way Orthodox Christians dress, both in and outside the temple, reflects their way of life and dedication to and fear of God. We dress modestly at all times, not in a flashy or provocative way that brings attention to ourselves.
GENTLEMEN: Collared, button-up shirts, clean dress pants, sweaters or vests, ties and coats. Avoid jeans and shorts.
LADIES: Modest dresses and blouses, knee-length skirts or longer, clean dress pants. Avoid jeans or shorts, short skirts, skin-tight clothing, and strapless or sleeveless tops, high-heels shoes as they make noise on our floors. Head coverings may be worn, according to the biblical tradition and are available in the narthex.
Only Orthodox Christians may participate in Holy Communion. Please be in church at the beginning, say the pre-communion prayers the previous evening or in the morning, fasting from food this morning (unless there is a medical reason) and had a recent confession. Allow the altar boys to place the red cloth under your chin. Do not wipe your mouth with it but consume everything that may be on your lips. Ladies please avoid wearing lipstick or lip-gloss when receiving Holy Communion.