St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church
872 N. 29th St. Boise, ID
an American parish of the Russian Orthodox Church

What is proper attire in Church?

How should I dress?  Is there a dress code?

Please remember that despite the temptations of the weather (cold in winter and heat in summer) it is expected that Orthodox Christians will dress appropriately in the Church. Appropriate attire for men means at least casual dress i.e. dress shirt, slacks, covered toes (no jeans, T-shirts, or shorts). For women casual dress is also expected i.e. skirt or dress, blouse, covered shoulders (sleeves or wrap). According to St. Paul (I Corinthians 11), women are to cover their heads during prayer, while men are not. Parents, please remember that you are responsible for making sure your children are dressed properly.

Following these guidelines helps to avoid distraction of others at prayer, while reflecting the desire for piety. Please be loving and understanding towards those who are just beginning to come to Church and may not be aware of these guidelines.

There aren’t any pews, where can I sit?

In the Orthodox Church we normally stand to pray out of respect for our God – we are not His equals that we would sit in His presence.  There are, however, some benches and folding chairs available throughout the Church for those who cannot stand the entire service.  Please be considerate and allow the sick, elderly and visitors to sit before you take a seat. Those who are able may also sit on the rugs during the homily – however please remember to sit and rise with some sense of dignity and modesty.  It is proper to stand up during the reading of the Gospel and during the entrances as well as to receive the blessings from the altar.  During the All-night Vigil service it is proper to stand for the entrance at Vespers, during the reading of the 6 Psalms of Matins and during the Polyeleos (when the priest is standing in the center of the Church) as well as during the reading of the Gospel.