2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Our Parish

Nativ­i­ty of the Most Holy Theotokos Ser­bian Ortho­dox Church of Orange Coun­ty, Cal­i­for­nia is a parish of the Dio­cese of the West, Ser­bian Ortho­dox Church in Amer­i­ca. Our parish is under the epis­co­pa­cy of His Grace Dr. MAKSIM, Ser­bian Ortho­dox Bish­op of West­ern Amer­i­ca. The Ser­bian Ortho­dox rul­ing hier­ar­ch is His Holi­ness Patri­arch Irinej. Our parish priest is Father Blasko Paraklis.

Our parish is named after the Most Holy Theotokos, the ever-vir­gin Mary, count­ed as a most Holy human being ever. Our annu­al parish feast day is Sep­tem­ber 21. Orig­i­nal­ly found­ed in Orange Coun­ty, Cal­i­for­nia by His Grace Bish­op Jovan in the spring of 1998, our parish gained a full time priest, Father Blasko Parak­lis, in Octo­ber of that year. Unit­ed in Faith, parish­ioners shared a sense of fel­low­ship and a grow­ing deter­mi­na­tion to build a church, fel­low­ship hall and school from the onset.

Among the wor­shipers are senior cit­i­zens, grate­ful that there is final­ly a church close in their area; fam­i­lies seek­ing reli­gious edu­ca­tion for their chil­dren; stu­dents and sin­gle adults, who appre­ci­ate the spir­i­tu­al guid­ance and fel­low­ship; new immi­grants who seek sup­port in the daunt­ing task of accli­mat­ing to their new coun­try, and a broad range of others.

Fol­low­ing the exam­ple set by ear­ly Ser­bian immi­grants to this coun­try, the Orange Coun­ty com­mu­ni­ty seeks to per­pet­u­ate the faith and pass a strong spir­i­tu­al and cul­tur­al foun­da­tion on to future gen­er­a­tions. Divine Litur­gy and ves­pers ser­vices are cel­e­brat­ed reg­u­lar­ly on Sun­days and Feast days fol­lowed Sun­day School, all in a rent­ed facil­i­ty which hous­es a beau­ti­ful chapel, class­rooms, a fel­low­ship hall and a full kitchen.

As is tra­di­tion­al from the ear­li­est of struc­tures built specif­i­cal­ly for Chris­t­ian wor­ship, the sanc­tu­ary (the altar in the chapel) is at the extreme east­ern end of the build­ing, the direc­tion of the light, sym­bol­ized by the ris­ing sun. The narthex (the vestibule) is at the west end of the build­ing, the ‘dark’ end rep­re­sent­ing the dark­ness of sin. The nave (main body) is sit­u­at­ed between the two.

The icons (reli­gious pic­tures) that adorn the chapel are tra­di­tion­al in style with exam­ples from a vari­ety of Ortho­dox cul­tur­al tra­di­tions. On the East­ern wall behind the Holy Altar table, hang the icons of the twelve major Feasts of the church year. Icons of the Cru­ci­fix­ion and Res­ur­rec­tion are locat­ed left and right of cen­ter, and the icon of the Holy Eucharist is in the center.

The Ser­bian Ortho­dox com­mu­ni­ty in Orange Coun­ty is deter­mined to build a per­ma­nent place of wor­ship that will be an earth­ly tes­ti­mo­ny to the glo­ry of God, a place that will wel­come all who are faith­ful to the Ortho­dox Church and its teach­ings, and all those seek­ing to learn more about the faith. We are very blessed to have Russ­ian Ortho­dox Chris­tians and oth­ers as part of our Pan-Ortho­dox Com­mu­ni­ty In this endeav­or, the parish humbly and respect­ful­ly seeks your support.

Some Notes To Our Visitors

You are wel­come in our church! We are thank­ful for all those God sends, in His divine prov­i­dence, to our spir­i­tu­al home. Those who would like to learn more about our ancient Chris­t­ian faith should feel free to con­tact the parish priest. Our Church wel­comes all who have a sin­cere desire to fol­low the founder and head of our ancient Faith, our Lord, God and Sav­ior Jesus Christ.

If you are an Ortho­dox first-time vis­i­tor with­out a parish of your own, we encour­age you to join our com­mu­ni­ty. Sim­ply ask one of the Faith­ful, some­one on duty at the can­dle stand, or the priest.

After the Divine Litur­gy, we wel­come all vis­i­tors to join us in our small fel­low­ship hall for lunch and con­ver­sa­tion with our parish fam­i­ly. You will find peo­ple from almost every walk of life. We are one fam­i­ly in Christ bound togeth­er in one com­mon faith.

Some Notes On Good Order in Orthodox Worship

We gath­er in church as a parish com­mu­ni­ty unit­ed in an ancient faith for a sin­gu­lar purpose–the wor­ship and glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of God. For this rea­son, we ask you to please refrain from any unusu­al or dis­re­spect­ful behav­ior while you are in our place of wor­ship as this dis­tracts the Faith­ful from our pur­pose. Dis­tract­ing cloth­ing, smok­ing inside the build­ing, stand­ing with hands in pock­ets, con­vers­ing, and any oth­er behav­iors that draw atten­tion to one­self are dis­cour­aged. We glo­ri­fy God in humil­i­ty, inner peace and rev­er­ence through our thoughts, prayers, appear­ance and behaviors.

A Note on Holy Communion

Please under­stand that non-Ortho­dox vis­i­tors, regard­less of their Chris­t­ian affil­i­a­tion or con­fes­sion, are not per­mit­ted to receive Holy Com­mu­nion in the Ortho­dox Church. Recep­tion of the Divine Gifts iden­ti­fies a per­son with the Ortho­dox body of believ­ers exclu­sive­ly. It has been thus since the first Mys­ti­cal Sup­per in the upper room. While no one at all is con­sid­ered wor­thy of Holy Com­mu­nion, includ­ing the cler­gy, the Ortho­dox Church does not admit any Ortho­dox per­son to Com­mu­nion who is not pre­pared. An indis­pens­able ele­ment of prepa­ra­tion for Holy Com­mu­nion is con­sid­ered to be reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Mys­tery of Holy Con­fes­sion. Anoth­er indis­pens­able ele­ment is total fast­ing, prefer­ably from the pre­ced­ing evening, but at least from the mid­night pri­or to morn­ing recep­tion of the Mys­tery of Holy Com­mu­nion. Ortho­dox vis­i­tors are encour­aged to con­tact the Priest pri­or to the Divine Litur­gy if they intend to receive the Mysteries.

A Note on Candles and Commemorations

You will find in the hall­way before you enter the chapel a small can­dle stand where can­dles may be pur­chased for a dona­tion. These can­dles are lit and placed in one of the can­dle stands accom­pa­nied by our prayers. The can­dle is at once a small offer­ing and a sym­bol of our own lives. The warmth of the flame is our faith cast­ing light upon a world dark­ened by sin. We rec­og­nize that our life on earth is tem­po­rary, thus we must shine bright­ly with the Light of God while the time is giv­en to us. It is the favorite lie of our adver­sary the dev­il that there is ‘plen­ty of time’. Our Ortho­dox vis­i­tors will also find that we offer small pieces of paper for writ­ing the names of liv­ing and deceased fam­i­ly mem­bers at the can­dle stand. The names are giv­en to the priest who offers spe­cial prayers for the health or blessed mem­o­ry of your loved ones. The list of names must be received in the Altar well pri­or to the begin­ning of Divine Liturgy.

Thank you for join­ing us online. We hope you will vis­it us. Our ancient faith is found­ed upon the love of God who so loved the world that He sent His only begot­ten Son, Jesus Christ, to us that we might, by His exam­ple, learn to tru­ly live and, by His death and res­ur­rec­tion, be free from the tyran­ny of sin. We gen­uine­ly hope that You find Him here in our midst.

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