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.
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.
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 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 Feb. 4, 2017
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
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
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
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
The Divine Liturgy, Vincent Rossi
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
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
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