Visiting Our Parish

Are non-Orthodox vis­i­tors welcome?

Yes, absolutely. We are a com­mu­nity made up of both cradle-born Ortho­dox Chris­tians and those who have con­verted to the faith. We are very welcoming to new­com­ers, inquir­ers, relatives and friends, and vis­i­tors. Any­one who wishes to dis­cover ancient Cop­tic Ortho­dox Chris­tian­ity is encouraged to ask questions. Father Kyrillos will be happy to answer questions about what we do and why. You may also click to find more information about the history of Christianity and of Coptic Orthodoxy, and information about our Pope.

Perhaps the best way to initiate a visit is to contact us directly. If you would like to attend a service, you may certainly do so. Vis­i­tors will find there are many new things to expe­ri­ence in a Cop­tic Ortho­dox Church ser­vice. Feel free to go at your own pace, ask any ques­tions you want, and know you are most wel­come to "come and see."

We have priest, deacon, and congregation recitations projected on screens dur­ing the Evening Raising of Incense service (Vespers) on Saturday nights, and during the Divine Liturgy on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. You may fol­low the ser­vice text on screen, or, if you pre­fer, sim­ply close your eyes and immerse yourself in the Church's beau­ti­ful wor­ship of God.

Fol­low­ing the Sun­day Divine Liturgy, you are invited to join us for an "agape meal", which is a good time to get to know our parish mem­bers and meet our priest.

Is there a dress code?

The gen­eral guideline for men and women is to dress appro­pri­ately, mod­estly and respect­fully, as before the liv­ing God. We ask that you not wear shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops, low-cut or strap­less dresses (unless cov­ered by a sweater), etc.

Is child­care provided?

Each par­ent is respon­si­ble for his or her own child(ren). We encour­age chil­dren to be present in Church for the ser­vices, as we believe this par­tic­i­pa­tion to be part of a child's spir­i­tual development. If your baby or child needs a break, you may take him or her out of the nave until he or she is ready to return. In the meantime, you may follow along with the service on a projection screen.

Is Sun­day School available?

We pro­vide Sun­day School in small groups for chil­dren in grades pre-K through twelve. Sun­day School begins after the agape meal and lasts for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, we have a spiritual lesson for adults as well.

Stand­ing or sitting?

The tra­di­tional pos­ture for prayer and wor­ship in the Ortho­dox Church is to stand, as before the King of the uni­verse! In many churches in Egypt, there are no pews in the churches, but rather chairs or benches on the side walls, reserved for the elderly and infirm. In Amer­ica, we build our churches with pews or chairs, so you may sit. How­ever, it is appro­pri­ate to stand dur­ing the Gospel read­ing, the Anaphora through the Insti­tu­tional Nar­ra­tive, the dis­tri­b­u­tion of Holy Communion, when the priest gives a bless­ing, and at the Dismissal.

Can non-Orthodox receive the Holy Eucharist?

The Holy Eucharist in the Orthodox Christian faith is not a mere symbol or memorial reenactment of the Mystical Supper. Rather, it is truly the Body and the Blood of Christ. For this reason, in order for one to partake of Holy Communion one must be a member the Orthodox Church in good standing and be properly prepared to receive the Holy Body and the Precious Blood of our Savior. As a general rule, proper preparation means keeping the fasts of the Church, recent confession (within one month), being at peace with others, and arriving to Divine Services on time. Anyone, however, is welcome to join us in receiv­ing the Eulo­gia (blessed bread), at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

What are Ortho­dox wor­ship hymns like?

Between 65-75% of the tra­di­tional Cop­tic Liturgy involves con­gre­ga­tional singing. Cop­tic Chris­tians do not use musi­cal instru­ments with the excep­tion of the cym­bals and tri­an­gle, which are used sim­ply to keep musi­cal time. A choir of dea­cons leads the con­gre­ga­tion in har­mo­nious chant. Our hymns are solemn, prayer­ful and intended to lead the faith­ful to wor­ship the liv­ing God.

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Service Times

Liturgy
Sundays at 8:00am
Wednesdays at 8:00am

Vespers
Saturdays at 6:00pm

Contact Us

St. Paul American Coptic Orthodox Church
3002 Dow Ave. #140
Tustin, CA 92780
info@stpauloc.org

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