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.
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.
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.
On the Church and the Virgin Mary, Fr, Lawrence
The Holy Mysteries of Unction and Marriage (from 2013)
Great Lent as Catechism
Miscellaneous Audio Lectures
The Creed, an introduction
The Creed, part 1
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
HUMANIZING MARY, talks by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, at the Santa Rosa Women’s Retreat, February 7, 2015
THE GOOD HUSBAND—A RETREAT FOR MEN, Talks by Fr. Josiah Trenham for married and unmarried, April 25, 2015
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
MARRIAGE AS PHILOTIMO: Four lectures by Fr. Timothy Pavlatos on Marriage, January 27, 2018
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
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