-> Church Etiquette

A Guide to Divine Liturgy

Introduction to Byzantine Church Life
A Guide to Divine Liturgy
A Guide to Great Vespers
Who's Who? in Church Services
Coming into Church
"Greetings and Salutations"
Greeting a Priest
The Sign of the Cross

" Divine Liturgy " is the main Sunday Service in the Byzantine Tradition, i.e. the Eucharistic Service (Latin Catholics call their Divine Liturgy: "the Mass")


If you are unfamiliar with our Divine Liturgy, it may seem strange to you, but like any Eucharist in the Christian tradition, the central core has 2 essential parts:

The Liturgy of the Word of God (called in our tradition The Liturgy of the Catechumens ; and The Liturgy of Holy Communion (The Liturgy of the Faithful)

in addition to this are several short Hymns. The whole Liturgy is linked together by a series of Litanies.

A Brief outline of the Divine Liturgy

1. Introductory Rites:
  • Opening Blessing
  • Great Litany
  • Two Psalms, each followed by the Little Litany
2. Liturgy of the Catechumens [Liturgy of the Word]

Little Entrance (& veneration of the Gospel Book)

  • New Testament Reading
  • Gospel Reading & Sermon
  • Three Litanies

3. Liturgy of the The Faithful [Liturgy of Holy Communion]
  • The Great Entrance
  • Offertory Litany
  • The Symbol of Faith (the Nicean Creed)
  • The Eucharistic Prayer (usually said silently by the Priest)
  • The Litany of Supplication & The Lord's Prayer
  • Holy Communion
4. The End
  • Communion Hymns
  • Prayer before the Ambo
  • Final Blessing & Distribution of the Blessed Bread

For more a More Detailed Explanation

"Blessed are You, O Lord, teach me your statutes!"


Much of our Divine Services involves the praying of Litanies.

The Deacon will lead the Faithful in a series of Petitions: (e.g.: " peace let us pray unto the Lord.")

The Faithful respond by singing:

"Lord have mercy." about 83% of all Responses in our Church

"Grant this, O Lord." Used in a couple of the Litanies.

"To You, O Lord." The 2d last Response to each Litany

"Amen." The conclusion toall prayer.

Sing Along in Ukrainian!

(N.B: in Ukrainian, ALL vowels are short vowels, e.g. ö = got, ï = fit, etc.)

Lord, have mercy = " Hós-pö-dï Pö-mí-lou-wee "

To You, O Lord = " Tö -Bée, Hós-pö-dï "

Amen = " Ah -méen "

Grant this, O Lord = " Pö -dýe, Hós-pö-dï "


The general practice is to STAND in prayer for everything
except one may SIT for the New Testament Reading and the Sermon

Please sit if you are infirm, or elderly, etc.

At the very least you should stand for - the Gospel, -the Entrances, & from the Great Entrance until after Holy Communion


Holy Communion

All Catholics are welcome & encouraged to receive provided they have fasted and go to Confession regularly

All Orthodox are encouraged to follow the Canons of their Church and are welcome toHoly Communion as well in the spirit of Oeconomia.

Everyone is welcome to receive the Antidor, theBlessed Bread at the end of Divine Liturgy

If you are receiving Holy Communion:

  • - make the sign of the Cross
  • - cross your hands over your heart
  • - tell the priest your Christian name
  • - come right up very close to the Holy Cup
  • - tilt your head back
  • - and open your mouth
  • - ensure that your tongue is well back in your mouth
  • - do NOT stick out your tongue

Ukrainian version


Fr. Roman Galadza