Frequently Asked Questions

What is Orthodoxy anyway?

Orthodoxy literally means "giving the right glory" or "right worship" (from ortho + doxa), a definition which includes by implication the idea of "right way or teaching." It can be traced back to the very time of the Apostles of Jesus. For the first 1,000 years the entire Christian Church was a unified body of believers. It was not until the year 1054 A.D., when the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church broke communion, that unity ceased to exist within all of Christendom, and Orthodoxy found its central home in the East.

In the first millenium, the entire Church protected herself from heresies (wrong teachings) by the convening of Seven Ecumenical Councils. Centuries later, when Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation against the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church continued in its Apostolic lineage as a strong Christian presence in Eastern Europe. Often in face of stiff difficulty (the Orthodox Church is sometimes called "the Church of the Martyrs"), it has handed down the right faith from person to person and generation to generation in unbroken succession from the time of the Apostles to the present day, proving the trustworthiness of Jesus' promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church.

Holy Orthodoxy first came to America by way of Russian Monks from the Valaam Monastery in the eighteenth century. To this day, the Orthodox Church remains theologically unified amidst the pluralism of denominationalism and schisms within the Christian world, and it provides a unique stability and foundation that cannot be found elsewhere.

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How do I learn more about Orthodoxy, the liturgical services, or even becoming Orthodox?

Holy Resurrection's Orthodoxy 101 classes are a perfect way to get an introduction to Orthodoxy in an interactive, inviting environment. There is no commitment and signing up is not necessary. This class is great for people with a casual interest in Orthodoxy, and it is also very beneficial for those already knowledgeable in the faith. Classes meet every Saturday at 4:00, but check the website to make sure that it has not been cancelled or rescheduled.

We also run the Tree of Life Bookstore which sells icons, incense, and many books, covering topics such as Church history, spirituality, children's stories, prayer, and everything in between.

For internet resources, you can find a comprehensive summary of the Orthodox Faith on our Diocesan website and on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan website.

Also, Frederica Matthewes-Green, a widely acclaimed lecturer, journalist and author, wrote an excellent article for first time attendees of an Orthodox Church, which can be found here.

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Is this Church really Bulgarian?

While we are under the Bulgarian Patriarchate and under the episcopacy of Metropolitan Joseph of the Diocese of North America, Canada and Australia, the largest group of us are converts to Holy Orthodoxy. Strong contingents also hail from from Russia and Romania, with members also from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Ukraine, and etc. Holy Resurrection is a diverse parish in this regard.

Holy Orthodoxy is a faith that migrated to the United States predominantly through small pockets of Greek and Eastern European immigrants, leading to a situation where people who are not necessarily ethnically Greek, Russian or Bulgarian might attend parishes under various jurisdictions. The beautiful thing about all of this is that ethnic differences do not alter the theological unity of the Orthodox faith. No matter where they hail from, all Orthodox Christians confess the same Creed. More profoundly, we are mystically and organically united as members of one Body in Christ by the sharing of the Holy Gifts (or Eucharist) across all canonical jurisdictions.

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What does Holy Resurrection offer for activities or opportunities outside of Sunday services?

Holy Resurrection maintains a number of ministries and programs. Among many different opportunities, parishioners have the chance to plug into the Young Professionals Group, the Sisterhood, the Youth Group, the Open Door Soup Kitchen, the Church Choir, and so on. For more information call (617) 787-7625 or ask a Board member or usher.

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Is there a mailing or emailing list that I can be a part of?

Yes! We have a Parish email list, and we send out an eweekly with news, announcements, and the weekly schedule of services. This is the best way to keep informed about Parish happenings. Simply email us or give your info in person to an usher or priest, and we will be glad to add you to the list.

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How do I learn more about membership?

If you are interested in becoming a member and have been baptized in an Orthodox Church please see our membership page. Once you have talked to the priest and filled out the application, you will be well on your way towards membership.

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How can I arrange a meeting with a priest?

Our priests are always available to speak with after services. They are all very approachable individuals, but you can also just tell the usher that you would like to meet one of the priests and he will be happy to facilitate that.

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How can I receive support from the Open Door Soup Kitchen or St. Bridget's Food Pantry?

If you are in the midst of a difficult time and would like to receive some food items from our Pantry please call (617) 787-7625 or email Fr. Patrick.

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Do you pass a tray during the service?

While we do not pass a tray during services, we do have a donation box in the narthex (the entryway to the Chapel). We would greatly appreciate your support.

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Thank you. We hope this was informative!