Welcome to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church! We are located in West Little Rock (1100 Napa Valley Drive, Little Rock, AR 72211) and would be delighted to have you visit us and consider pursuing your new life in Christ with us! The services are open to all and in English.
Men, women and children from all walks of life and background have made their spiritual home here at the Annunciation in Little Rock. Why not you? Explore our site, visit us, pray about it and then consider drawing closer to God with the Annunciation Church family.
Sundays: Matins: 9:00am Divine Liturgy: 10:00am
Come and pray with us, all are welcome.
For Weekday services, please see our calendar
Regular Church Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00am - 3:00pm
In the Orthodox Church there are many customs and traditions that are an important part of our worship and life at the Annunciation in Little Rock. This is by no means a definitive listing, but merely a review of some of the traditional practices that are integral to participating in the liturgical life at the Annunciation. For a more detailed examination, there are numerous books on the subject available in our Bookstore, or simply ask Fr. Nicholas.
When attending services at the Annunciation it is important to dress in a manner that is modest, appropriate and respectful. People must attend services dressed in a manner not to impress others, but to present ourselves to God. Our best judgment and vigilance is required, but there is nothing very casual when it comes to meeting God in His House.
Lighting Candles & Entering the Church:
Lighting candles is an important expression in Orthodox worship services. Orthodox Christians light them as they prayerfully enter the Church. When lighting a candle, the worshiper prays that his or her life will shine forth full of faith. Lighting a candle symbolically honors Christ and affirms one as His follower (a light bearer of the Lord). The burning candle symbolizes the warmth and sincerity of our prayers. It is also a common practice to light a candle for someone in need, to honor a saint, or to commemorate a deceased loved one.
When entering an Orthodox Church, it is customary for Orthodox Christians to venerate the icons on stands in the narthex. The most common form of veneration is to light a candle, bow slightly while making the sign of the cross and kiss the icon before entering the Nave of the Church. The Orthodox Church draws a very clear line of distinction between venerating and worshiping icons. The worship of icons is idolatrous, whereas veneration is respect and reverence for the subject of the icon rather than the article itself.
Seating in the Church:
Gathering together in the House of the Lord to worship Him and join together in prayer is such a privilege and joy that we must not fear to draw near to the Lord with our hearts, with our mind, and with our bodies. As the faithful children of God, we must never shy away from taking a position in the Church that is closest to the Altar of our Heavenly Father.
Let Us Attend:
During the course of any Church service we must always seek to maintain our prayerful focus, actively participate in the responses, and remain attentive, even when seated. In Orthodox Christian culture, crossing one’s legs is considered very disrespectful. Therefore, crossing one’s legs during a service is not permitted; because it is considered to be too casual and relaxed for being inside the Church. During the course of services, the faithful should follow along, sing and rejoice in the presence of God. When men and women attend services at the Annunciation, it is our overriding priority to speak to God through our collective prayers, hymns and thanksgiving.
Handling the Blessed Bread:
Upon receiving Holy Communion and/or at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, it is customary for all those who participated in the prayer of the Church to come forward to receive a piece of “blessed bread” as a sign of thanksgiving. While the bread that is distributed is not consecrated, it is blessed and as such, it should be consumed carefully and respectfully. Everyone that attends Divine Liturgy, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike, may receive the blessed bread as an expression of love and Christian fellowship.
Proper Form of Addressing a Priest:
The parish priest is sent by the bishop and the Church to be the spiritual father and head of the local community. At the behest of the bishop, the priest is the leader, the guardian and the teacher of the Orthodox Christian faith in a parish. As such, it is traditional for people to address him as “Father,” stand when he enters the room, and kiss his right hand when greeting or receiving something from him (especially during the course of any service). The tradition of kissing the priest’s hand is a liturgical act through which we show respect for the priesthood in general and the sacramental life of the Church.
The Sign of the Cross:
People usually put their initials or some other sign on things that they want to mark as their own. When we want to show that a thing belongs to Christ and is consecrated to Christ, we mark it with a cross. The cross is the sign of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came down to earth to suffer for us and was crucified on a cross for our salvation. Crosses are placed on church buildings, on Holy Bibles, on priestly vestments, etc. All Christians wear crosses because they all belong to Christ. In addition, on certain occasions Orthodox Christians make the sign of the cross on ourselves because we want especially to remind ourselves that we belong to Christ.
Some more General Church Etiquette
We do not enter or leave the Sanctuary when:
While in the Sanctuary: