Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Are non-Orthodox visitors welcome?

Yes, absolutely. We are a community made up of both cradleborn 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. Our Fathers will be happy to answer questions about what we do and why.

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."

Following 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 child care 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? 

Not yet, but we are working hard to have one implemented soon.

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.

Contact us

(415) 862-7322 or 415-862-SFCC

SFCopticChurch@gmail.com

©2019 by St. Mary & St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of San Francisco