Holy Cross Orthodox Christian Church
Serving Midland and the Permian Basin
The Self Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
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For New Visitors
There are many things about Orthodox worship that may surprise and confuse you. We want you to know—we welcome all visitors and hope you will feel comfortable asking questions at an appropriate time! We want to help by answering a few of those questions now, so you know what to expect on your visit. Also visit our Audio Podcast Library or our Article Resource Library to find more answers to common questions. You may want to browse the Our Parish page including our history and mission. Learn more about our faith and opportunities to grow by following the links on the Our Faith page.
Frequently Asked Questions

How long are services? On Sundays, Divine Liturgy begins at 10:30 AM and lasts about one hour and fifteen minutes. Other services during the week and throughout the year range from thirty minutes to two hours. To learn more about a typical Sunday worship service, listen to the series called Sunday Worship found in our Audio Podcast Library.

Is there childcare provided? In Orthodox services, most children normally worship alongside their families. The church does offer a Children's Room during services with age appropriate activities for those children too young to sit quietly with their parents. Older children, pre-teens and teens are encouraged to participate fully in the liturgical life of the church.

Is there a dress code? There is no formal dress code for attending church services. However, in worship we stand before the judgement seat of God. Orthodox parishioners tend to wear simple,  modest clothing to services that befits the seriousness of worship. This typically ranges from business casual to formal wear. Shorts, revealing clothing and worldly logos or images are never appropriate for services. Women are not required to wear head coverings, but those who feel so inclined are encouraged to do so.

Can non-Orthodox receive the Holy Eucharist? Because the Orthodox Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist as the most intimate union of believers with Christ, it is reserved for those members of the Orthodox Church who have prepared themselves to receive the Body & Blood of the Lord by confession and fasting. Non-Orthodox are still invited to participate fully in the worship of the church and are welcome to approach the chalice for a blessing from the priest during the eucharistic distribution.

How can I become an Orthodox Christian? The first step toward membership starts with attending our weekly discussion group. After you have made the decision that you want to become Orthodox, you should speak with the priest. He will pray a special blessing prayer over you during the Divine Liturgy and you will become a catechumen. Orthodox Christianity is not something we learn from books or classes even though we have a lot of those. Orthodoxy is learned by following the faith as a way if life. The period of the catechumenate normally lasts for one year. During this special time you will not recieve the sacraments but you will worship, pray, fast and participate in the life of the Orthodox faithful in order to prepare you for entrance into the Body of Christ. When your period as a catechumen is over, with the blessing of the priest, you will be recieved into the Orthodox Church by either Holy Baptism or Christmation. This normally takes place twice a year on either Pascha or Christmas.

 

Before Your First Visit to an Orthodox Church

The following excerpt is from 12 Things I Wish I’d Known, by Frederica Mathews-Green. The complete article is a helpful breakdown of some key questions you might have on your first visit. To read the full article, click on the “read more” link below.

During the early part of the service the church may seem to be in a hubbub, with people walking up to the front of the church, praying in front of the iconostasis (the standing icons in front of the altar), kissing things and lighting candles, even though the service is already going on. In fact, when you came in the service was already going on, although the sign outside clearly said “Divine Liturgy, 9:30.” You felt embarrassed to apparently be late, but these people are even later, and they’re walking all around inside the church. What’s going on here?…read more

What is Orthodox Christianity?
Orthodoxy 101
Orthodoxy 101
You've got questions...We have answers

 

What is Christianity all about? 

What is different about Orthodox Christianity?

What do I need to learn before becoming an Orthodox Christian?

Click on the icon to the left to learn more from our online catechism.

There are 5 episodes. But don't worry.

A lifetime of growth and learning awaits you!

Check out the history of Christianity in the videos below.

The History of Orthodox Christianity: Part 1
The History of Orthodox Christianity Part 2
The History of Orthodox Christianity Part 3