St. Philip Orthodox Church has been witnessing to the truth of Orthodox Christianity in Fort Lauderdale/Davie since the 1980’s, but our Faith has been preached unchanged for 2,000 years. Orthodox Christianity is the historic and apostolic Christian Faith founded by Jesus Christ.
Our parish is home to a multitude of cultures from around the globe: Bulgarian, Cuban, Egyptian, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Greek, Lebanese, Palestinian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Syrian, Ukrainian, American, and more. We are a community with a mosaic of cultures celebrating “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:5-6
The heartbeat of our God-centered community is the cycle of worship services. Many have called Orthodox worship a ‘sensory’ experience, so we invite you to come and hear our beautiful a cappella choir, smell our incense, touch our iconography, and most importantly make a life-changing connection with our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.
VISITORS’ GUIDE FOR NON-ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS
If this is your first experience with Orthodox Christianity there are a few things you may like to know before you visit.
- You don’t need to bring your own Bible. We have the Sunday readings printed out in the bulletin.
- All of our services are in English.
- Wear comfortable shoes! We stand a lot but we’re used to it. If you need to sit, please sit!
- Children are very welcome to participate in worship as best as they are able. It is very important to us that children learn to be relaxed and comfortable in God’s House. Please bring your whole family! If you need to take your children out of the sanctuary for a few moments feel free to do so. Kids are kids and our services can seem long to little ones.
- We are a diverse community and we don’t all dress or look alike. Many of our parishioners are converts to Orthodox Christianity but we have parish members with roots in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Some women cover their hair in accord with St Paul (1 Cor. 11:2-16) and some women don’t in order to emphasize the difference between traditional Middle Eastern Christianity and Islam. In our Archdiocese the only men who wear hats in church are bishops and monks so none of the men or boys will be wearing headwear. Some of us dress very formally but most of us less so. There is no firm ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to dress for worship but it’s always a good idea to maintain at least the same standard of formality as you would for work or school.
- We sing a lot. Almost the entire service is sung except for the sermon, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Creed. The choir and chanters lead the singing but you are very welcome to join in. You can follow the service book in the pew.
- We worship with our whole beings and not just with our spirits and minds. You will see people bowing, making the sign of the Cross, kneeling and lifting their hands in prayer. You are most welcome to worship the Holy Trinity with your bodies according to our customs but no one will be offended if you are not comfortable doing so.
- Only Orthodox Christians in good standing can receive Holy Communion, however, you are most welcome to partake of the blessed bread that is shared during communion and at the end of the service. This bread is from the same loaf as the bread that was used for Holy Communion. Someone may bring you some blessed bread as they return from receiving Communion.
- After the service you are welcome to venerate the Cross and take some more blessed bread. It is our custom to kiss the Cross as it is the symbol of our Lord’s saving sacrifice. It is also our custom to kiss the priest’s hand as a sign of loving respect. If you feel comfortable you may follow our customs, but no one is obliged to do so. If you do not want to kiss the Cross please come up anyway so that one of our clergy has a chance to meet you.
- Please join us for refreshments and fellowship after the Sunday Services. We look forward to meeting you!
- If you have any questions please ask and if you would like a tour of the church building and an explanation of the icons someone will be happy to arrange it.
Adapted from the website of St Nicholas in Springdale, AR
VISITORS GUIDE FOR ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS
Whether you are new to the area or just passing through we would like to invite you to join us for worship!
- We are a parish of the Self Ruling Antiochian Archdiocese and follow the liturgical practice and canonical discipline of our Archdiocese and Patriarchate.
- All of our services are in English.
- We welcome Orthodox Christians of any tradition or ethnic background to join our community.
- If you are moving into the area whether permanently or temporarily please speak with Fr. Alex, Kh. Anna, or a member of the parish council.
- We have services often so please check out our calendar.
- If you plan on communing, it would be polite to contact Fr. Alex beforehand at FrAlex@Orthodoxfl.ocm