1895 Lake Emma Road  •  Longwood, Florida 32750  • 386-227-7056

Sunday Services: Hours – 9:10 am   |  Divine Liturgy – 9:30 am

Русская Литургия (Slavonic Liturgy)  2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays of the Month – 11:30 am
Slavonic Vespers Every Saturday – 6 pm

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The best way to experience the Orthodox Church is a visit. Contact Father Daniel with questions or to schedule a meeting.

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Preparing for a visit to St. Stephen? Here are some things to know when planning your first visit to an Orthodox church.

There is no strict dress code, but modest attire is appropriate. Avoid shorts, tight or revealing clothes, or anything that would distract from the purpose of being in church, which is to offer worship to God.
Divine Liturgy begins at 9:30 am. Please arrive before then so that you can find a place and be prepared for the service to begin.

The service generally lasts about an hour and a half. Try to stay for the entire Liturgy so you can take in everything that happens in an Orthodox service.

Children are encouraged to be present at the Divine Liturgy, and as such we do not have a separate nursery. Feel free to let your small children sit on the floor or beside you during the service. If you have a crying or unruly child, use discretion as to whether to exit the service to calm them.
The Divine Liturgy is a beautiful expression of Christianity that has been practiced for over a thousand years. It is a feast for the senses, with beautiful sights, smells and sounds, all directing our worship.

As you enter the church, we have copies of the Liturgical service available so that you can follow along. Don’t worry about what to do or not to do; just relax and enjoy the experience.

For a humorous look at a first visit, read this post from our blog.

The Orthodox Church practices closed communion, meaning that only those baptized into the Church may receive the Holy Eucharist. Non-Orthodox may however be offered a piece of blessed bread as a gesture of fellowship.
The images adorning the walls of the church are called icons. The most prominent ones you will see are of Jesus Christ, and Mary, the mother of God. Other icons represent faithful Christians that are now departed.

Orthodox Christians utilize icons in worship as a way of calling to mind examples of people who demonstrated their faith in God throughout history. Icons have been a part of traditional Christian worship from the very earliest days of the faith.

During a service you will see people bow before certain icons, and even kiss them. This is not idolatry or the worship of images. It is a way for Orthodox Christians to venerate, or demonstrate our love for, the people the images represent. In the way someone might talk to or even kiss a photograph of a loved one that is far away from them, we pay honor to these examples of Christian faith.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, we line up to venerate the cross being held by the priest. You are welcome to:

  1. not come forward at all; or
  2. come forward and say hello to the priest (who would like to meet you), and not kiss the cross; or,
  3. come forward, say hello to the priest, and kiss the cross as your own personal expression of gratitude for the saving work our Lord Jesus Christ performed for us through His crucifixion.
After our Divine Liturgy coffee and food is served in the fellowship addition to our building. It’s a chance to meet and talk with others attending the service. You can also browse our bookstore, which has a large selection of works on Orthodoxy. We also have several free pamphlets in the front lobby of the church that answer various questions about our faith.
Father Daniel is happy to meet with you in person or respond to your questions via email. Feel free to contact him.
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