Are non-Orthodox visitors welcome?

Saint Peter & Saint Andrew Coptic Orthodox Church in Stamford ConnecticutYes, absolutely. We are a community made up of both cradle-born Orthodox Christians and those who have converted to the faith. We are very comfortable with new comers, inquirers, and visitors. Anyone who wishes to dis cover ancient Coptic Orthodox Christianity is welcome. If you have questions, Fr. Andrew will be happy to answer them, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about what we do and why.

In planning your visit, please email Fr. Andrew at abouna@copts.org or call the church ahead of time, and someone will greet you and direct you to a place to sit. In attending the service of Raising of Incense or the Divine Liturgy, we have books available with the text of the prayers, we have a large PowerPoint presentation with the text of the prayers, and you also have the option to simply close your eyes and let your heart and mind enter into the spirit of the Church’s ancient and beautiful worship of God. In addition, a person will be available to sit with you and guide you through the service.

Following the Sunday Divine Liturgy, you are invited to join us for a “coffee hour” which is a good time to get to know our parish members and meet our priest.

Can non-Orthodox receive the Holy Eucharist?

Saint Peter & Saint Andrew Coptic Orthodox Church in Stamford ConnecticutOrthodox priests may only serve the Holy Eucharist to baptized members in good standing of the canonical Orthodox Church, who regularly confess, and who participate in the Church fasts, especially before partaking of the Holy Eucharist. These traditions are ancient and have been part of the Holy Church for the 2,000 years of Her history.

The Orthodox Church understands the Holy Eucharist as a mystery of the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, not simply as a memorial, or merely in a spiritual sense, as many other non-Orthodox Christians do. Rather than trying to accommodate to often varying “interpretations” or revisions of this and other doctrines of the ancient faith, we simply ask that you respect the ancient, apostolic tradition and join us in receiving the Eulogia (blessed bread), at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

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