For Inquirers and Catechumens

We warmly welcome all our visitors and are honored by your visit.  We are interested in greeting you following any of our services and to be of assistance in whatever way we can.

Please visit our Orthodox Teaching and History page. Scroll down for audio lectures and links.

If you are not Orthodox Christian, please do not approach the chalice during the distribution of Holy Communion.

2023-24 Course Schedule for Catechism

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Order for Holy Communion

Orthodox Christians are invited to receive Holy Communion if they are properly prepared by prayer and a recent Confession and are not under any penance.

Amongst other things, proper preparation includes faithful fasting, recent confession (within one month), being at peace with others, and being on time to the divine services.

If you are uncertain if you are blessed to approach the chalice, please do not until you have spoken with Father Lawrence.

What is a Catechumen?

A catechumen (Greek: κατηχούμενος) is one who is preparing for baptism in the Church.

In the ancient Church, the catechumenate, or time during which one is a catechumen, often lasted for as much as three years and included not only participation in the divine services but also catechesis, formal instruction from a teacher, often the bishop or appointed catechist. Exorcists often performed the catechetical role, as well, following their initial prayers of exorcism over the one being made a catechumen, which is the traditional manner of receiving a catechumen into the community of the Church.

Catechumens are understood to be Christians upon beginning their catechumenate, and should they die before baptism, they are traditionally given an Orthodox funeral.

Catechetical instruction in Orthodoxy in America does not typically last the three years which was common in the time of St. John Chrysostom, but typically can last from six months to a year, depending on the practice of the bishop, his jurisdiction, and the level of spiritual maturity of the catechumen. Local parish priests typically oversee the catechesis of those preparing to be received into the Church.

An outline of the course of studies appears below. All are welcome to attend the lectures:

Catechumen and Inquirer Course: Classes are held at 3:30 PM, each Saturday October 2–December 5, and then again from February 19–April 16, in the Parish Library. All are welcome, not just catechumens.

God Parents, by Elder Cleopa of Romania

Numerous articles and helpful tips on Orthodox living
This material is known around here as the “Catechumen Binder” because it’s given out in a large binder when a person becomes a Catechumen.

Catechism Lectures

On the True God (October 9, 2021), Fr. Lawrence 

On the Human Being (October 21, 2021), Fr Lawrence

On Sin (November 18, 2017), Fr. Lawrence

Jesus Christ the Son of God (November 1, 2021), Fr. Lawrence

Jesus Christ the Savior of the World (November 2022), Fr. Lawrence

Jesus Christ the Son of God and Savior (November 26, 2017), Fr. Lawrence

On Repentance (December 2, 2017) Fr. Lawrence

On Repentance (November 2022)

On the Holy Spirit (December 9, 2017) Fr. Lawrence

On the Church and the Virgin (December 16, 2017), Fr Lawrence

On the Church and the Virgin Mary, Fr, Lawrence

On the Church and the Virgin Mary, December 16, 2016, Fr. Lawrence

Holy Mystery of Baptism, lecture of January 28, 2017

On Chrismation, lecture of March 9, 2024

On the Eucharist, February 17, 2018

On the Eucharist, Fr. Josiah Trenham (Riverside, CA)

Confession part 1, February 24, 2018, Fr. Lawrence

Confession part 2, January 2012, Fr. John Schettig

On Confession, March 20, 2021

On Confession, March 4, 2023

Holy Mystery of the Priesthood (March 27th, 2021)

Holy Mystery of Marriage (November 15, 2014)

On Marriage and Monasticism, Brother Vincent (Rossi), March 11, 2017

On the Mystery of Marriage, Fr Lawrence, March 30, 2019

Marriage Feast, Matt 22 (January 21st, 2024)

The Holy Mysteries of Unction and Marriage (from 2013)

Another lecture on HOLY UNCTION

The Holy Mystery of death and the Funeral Service (April 1, 2017)

Preparing for Great Lent, Fr. Seraphim Aldea (February 18, 2023)

Great Lent as Catechism

Final Class and Preparation for baptism

Preparation for Holy Communion, Fr. John Schettig

On the structure and meaning of Vespers, Fr. Lawrence

On Faith and Repentance

Miscellaneous Audio Lectures

On Creation, Fr. Lawrence Margitich

Church as Spiritual Hospital, by Vincent Rossi

On Reading Holy Scripture, by Father John Schettig, 2014

On Reading the Holy Scriptures, by Father John Schettig, January 11, 2014

On Sin, Fr. John Schettig

On Sin, Fr Josiah Trenham

The Divine Liturgy, Vincent Rossi

The Creed, an introduction

The Creed, part 1

The Creed part 2

The Creed part 3


Talk on St. Gregory the Theologian, 1/24/2013 – by Reader Vincent Andrew Rossi

Lecture #4 on the Acts of the Apostles, 05/21/2014, Reader Vincent Andrew Rossi

On Church Singing, a Pastor’s Perspective, from the ROCOR Music Conference, Santa Rosa, Oct. 2014, Father Lawrence Margitich

On the iconographic plan of the Church, Monk Patrick Doolan, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 1, 2015

A talk on St Paisius (Velichkovsky) of Neamt, Father John Schettig and Vincent Rossi, November 14, 2015

A talk (part 2 only) on the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualists, AKA Old Believers, by Father Edward Henderson, November 8, 2017

On the Russian New Martyrs, Father Ilya Gotlinski, January 20, 2018

Remarks on the Diaconate, Archpriest Stephan Meholick, Diaconal Practicum, July 17, 2019. ** NEW

Genesis and Creation, Father John Schettig, February 13, 2019

The Making of Man, Father John Schettig, February 20, 2019

The Age of the World, Father John Schettig, March 6, 2019

Departure of the Soul, Father John Schettig, July 10, 2019

State of the Soul After Death, Father John Schettig, July 24, 2019

HUMANIZING MARY, talks by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, at the Santa Rosa Women’s Retreat, February 7, 2015

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, Lecture 1

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, Lecture 2

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, Lecture 3

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, Lecture 4

THE GOOD HUSBAND—A RETREAT FOR MEN, Talks by Fr. Josiah Trenham for married and unmarried, April 25, 2015

Fr. Josiah Trenham, Lecture 1

Fr. Josiah Trenham, Lecture 2

Fr. Josiah Trenham, Lecture 3

BEYOND SHAME, a talk by Father Stephen Freeman, February 8, 2016

THE PASSIONS: A three-part talk given by Mother Melania, at the 04/09/2016 Women’s Retreat

Mother Melania, Lecture 1

Mother Melania, Lecture 2

Mother Melania, Lecture 3

MARRIAGE AS PHILOTIMO: Four lectures by Fr. Timothy Pavlatos on Marriage, January 27, 2018

Fr. Timothy, Lecture 1

Fr. Timothy, Lecture 2

Fr. Timothy, Lecture 3

Fr. Timothy, Lecture 4


Recordings of the Retreat led by Fr John Bethancourt: The Sanctification of the Imagination in the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas (March 23, 2019), here at St Seraphim

Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

The Meaning of the Vesting and Entrance at a Liturgy when a Bishop serves—remarks by Fr. Irenei Steenberg

A lecture by Father James Jorgenson on the Orthodox-Lutheran Dialogue, 16th Century until now

Delivered at St. Seraphim Cathedral Wednesday, May 26, 2017

Brief remarks on Christian Education: Mentorship

2021-22 Course Schedule for Catechism

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