Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Below are some of the more Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that are asked of us regularly, along with the answers. 

If you have further questions that you feel can be of help to other parishioners or potential new members, please contact the church office and we will add them to this list.

Looking for a spiritual home? You would be most welcomed here at St. John’s!

If you and/or your family would you like to join St. John of Damascus parish here are the steps:

  1. Print out and complete the New Member Form.
  2. Complete a stewardship pledge for the current year for each new member 18 years and older.
  3. Mail all completed forms to the church office.

Your participation and attendance in church each Sunday will be most welcome, and we look forward to your full support of the Church and its events. There are many ministries and organizations within the parish for you to consider participating in on a more personal level if you are interested. Please contact Fr. John for more information.

We look forward to having you as a part of our parish family!

What are the procedures to be married at St. John’s?

Weddings are done only for those members of St. John’s who are in good spiritual and financial standing.  Contact the pastor or church office to learn of your status or how to ensure you are in good standing.

DATE FOR WEDDING

Please contact the church office about the availability of the date before signing a contract with a function facility.

Marriages cannot (without the Archbishop's permission) take place on the eves of Wednesday or Friday, Great Lent, Advent, Dormition Fast, and other fast days.

ORTHODOX AND NON-ORTHODOX (Mixed Marriage)

The non-Orthodox must be a Christian baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. The non-Orthodox is requested to present a Certificate of Baptism to the pastor well in advance of the wedding.

SECOND MARRIAGE

In the event this is a second marriage of either party (Orthodox or not), permission from the Metropolitan Archbishop is needed via the Pastor and the service used will be according to the liturgical guide. Please consult with the pastor immediately if this is the case.

BEST MAN AND/OR MAID OF HONOR

One of the sponsoring witness(es) at an Orthodox marriage must be an Orthodox Christian. The non-Orthodox must be a baptized Christian.

All Orthodox parties (Bride/Groom, Best Man etc.) are strongly encouraged and urged to receive confession and communion at the Sunday closest to their wedding date.

Upon confirmation of the wedding date, more information will be provided to you.

What are the procedures for my child to be churched and baptized at St. John’s?

Congratulations on the birth of your child! Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14). Choosing to baptize your child to become part of our church family is the first step to accepting this call.

Please note that baptisms are only done for children of members in good standing with the church.  Contact the pastor or church office to learn of your status or how to ensure you are in good standing.

CHURCHING

At the churching, your child is “presented” to God, Church and the parish community. The prayers also welcome the mother back into the community.

Typically occurs 40 days after birth but can be done earlier if you and the baby are ready to be out. Please call/email the church office to arrange for the churching (and schedule baptism if you care to do so as well).

The proper and correct time to church the baby is before the liturgy begins (typically at 9:45 a.m.).

BAPTISM

Baptisms are done on Sundays after the Divine Liturgy.

The godparents should be at the church at least 20 minutes prior to the baptism in order to review the service with the pastor.

Please be ready to start the service on time since another baptism may be held after yours or because the priest may have another commitment.

GODPARENTS

At least one sponsor (preferably the same sex as the child) must be an Orthodox Christian in good spiritual standing with their church.

The other sponsor must be a baptized Christian also in good spiritual standing with their church.

Present the pastor with copies of their baptismal certificates well in advance of the baptismal date, or a letter from their pastor stating their membership.

All Orthodox parties (parents and godparents) are strongly urged and encouraged to take Confession and Communion prior to the baptism.

Upon confirmation of the baptism date, more information will be provided to you.

Someone in my family is dying. Is there anything that I should be doing?

The best thing to do is to come to the Liturgy, light a candle for them, and to remember them in your heart and prayers. You can even offer the holy bread for them by calling/emailing the office. The suggested donation is $20 for this.

The next thing to do is to decide what funeral home you will be using. While it can be painful, you may want to "make" the arrangements for your loved one in advance with the funeral director.  Fr. John can help you with these painful decisions, which are best made while we can think clearly.

After your loved one dies, you should call the funeral director who in turn will contact the priest. Funerals can be done on any day of the week except Sundays.

In this parish, the usual time for the service is 10:00 am. The funeral director and/or priest can guide you through the many details involved.

I want to rent the hall. What are the hall rental rates?

We have a Hall Rental web page that specifies all the details on renting the church hall.   Rental rates are discounted for parishioners.

This page contains all the policies, guidelines, instructions, rental rates, and fees associated with renting the hall.  In addition, you can download the hall rental application. 

For more details, please see our Hall Rental Page.

I need a copy of my marriage/baptism certificate and I can't seem to find it. How do I get one?

You need to write to the archdiocese, not the church office.

Simply check a check for $15 payable to The Antiochian Archdiocese. Please include as much information as possible to help them locate this information. 

Mail it to:

The Antiochian Archdiocese
PO Box 5238 
Englewood, NJ 07631-5238

I'd like to host a coffee hour. What should I do?

Coffee Hour is what we refer to as our social gathering in our church hall immediately following Divine Liturgy each Sunday.  We encourage families and organizations to host or sponsor coffee hours.  

If you are interested in sponsoring a coffee hour, contact the church office to find out what dates are available.  The church office will give you all the information you need.  You can view the coffee hour policy below.

The Executive Board unanimously approved the following Coffee Hour Policy, to be effective beginning September 1, 2015.

  1. Refreshments for the coffee hour each Sunday will be provided by sponsors.  A sponsor can be an individual, a family, or a church organization.
  2. Sponsors can sign up to host the coffee hour by contacting the church office and specifying a particular Sunday.
  3. Sponsors are responsible for the following:
    • Providing all refreshments (except coffee and sugar, which will be provided by the parish);
    • Providing milk and/or cream, as well as any other desired beverages;
    • Coordinating the set-up of  all refreshments, which includes making the coffee;
    • Coordinating the clean-up of all refreshments, tables, and the kitchen, which includes putting all trash into the barrels;
    • Contacting the church office to obtain a key or to coordinate with someone who has a key to lock the church building after the coffee hour.
  4. On Sundays when there are no sponsors, the Greeters Committee may elect to set up and host a mini coffee hour. Please contact the church office for more information.
  5. Tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins, and utensils will be provided by the parish at no cost. However, sponsors are responsible for setting out these products.

We fully understand that due to certain circumstances (memorial services, for example), a sponsor cannot attend church services and also set up for the coffee hour. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the sponsors to coordinate assistance with the set-up, refreshment service, and clean-up for the coffee hour. There are many parishioners willing to help….just ask.

We ask for your full cooperation, understanding, and support. We encourage our church organizations, families, and individuals to sponsor our weekly coffee hours.

Our goal is to have a social hour that we can all enjoy together.

  • Need more info?

    Contact the Church Office or the Pastor

Orthodox Cross