Church Attire
In recent years, some Roman Catholic, Protestant and other Christian-based communities with their origins in the Evangelical movement have advertised themselves as having a "relaxed" or "carefree" environment of worship. This often extends to promoting a "casual" dress code at places of worship and fellowship. In fact, churches where a more formal dress code is the norm are often criticized for being too rigid or elitist.

Those of the Orthodox faith have a different perspective on the matter of dress. We believe that our services are a not a personal representation of our opinions or attitudes, but rather a means to worship God; to glorify, honor, revere and show our love to Christ and His Church. Our services depict not a raw outburst of emotion but a sense of awe and deep love of our faith, even if we ourselves cannot attain complete perfection of a Christian life.

Likewise, our dress at church is an example of our attempt to further fulfill our commitment to faith. Though styles and social norms for dress and appearance have changed drastically since the time of Christ, the underlying concept has remained the same: show reverence and love of our faith through modest but respectable dress and appearance.

When you attend services at our community, we ask that you consider the following guidelines:

Dress modestly and comfortable. Flashy, expensive or loud clothes detract from other individual's ability to pray. Services can be long and involve significant amounts of sitting, standing, and prostrations (bowing), so wearing comfortable-fitting clothing is a good idea.

Clothes and appearance for men: It is asked that you wear long pants and a presentable shirt, preferably one with a collar. Hats, caps, and bandanas are completely unacceptable for men to wear in church at any time unless there is a medical necessity. We will ask men or male children/teenagers to remove their hats if they wear them while in the church. Please make an effort to keep your appearance groomed and jewelry (rings and necklaces) at a low-key level.

Clothes and appearance for women: It is asked that you do not wear skirts that go above the knees, and consider a dress that would reach to your ankle. Pants are acceptable, but a long-cut dress is the traditional dress for women in the Orthodox faith. High heels are not recommended for reasons of comfort. Make-up and jewelry is allowed, but we do ask that women apply it sparingly. A special note: if you are wearing lipstick, please do not kiss the icons. The chemicals that make up lipstick can permanently damage icons that are hand-written with either acrylic oils and natural powders.

Unacceptable clothing: Tank tops and shorts are considered unacceptable, as are clothes with large logos or statements on them. Overly baggy jeans that are ragged, or jeans that are torn for style are not acceptable either.

Head-coverings for women: Traditionally, women were required to wear some form of head covering (head scarves) in the church. We do not require any woman to do so, but neither is it discouraged.

Footwear: Orthodox services involve a good deal of standing, bowing and moving around. It is best to find a comfortable pair of shoes or sandals to wear that are not exercise shoes but give adequate support. For parents, we ask that you do not allow your children to dress in novelty footwear that have either lights on the heels or are "rollershoes".

Cultural norms: The Orthodox faith has a representation in dozens of different cultures and ethnicity. Different Orthodox cultures have different cultural norms for dress, and we try to be as accepting of different cultures both in and outside of Orthodoxy as possible. All we ask is that you do your best to be respectful to Christ and His house, and those that serve and do His works.

If you have any questions, please contact Fr. Nathan or Presbytera Heidi before services.
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