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FAQ for the Couple

Where can I buy wedding icons?
These can be purchased from a variety of places. We recommend inquiring of the parish bookstores of any of the churches in Brisbane.

What do I do with the wedding candles?
These go on your icon corner, as a reminder of your commitment to one another and your journey towards heaven together.

Do I need to supply wedding crowns?
In our liturgical tradition, parishes typically have a set of crowns which are used for weddings. However, if you wish to provide your own, please discuss this with Fr Andrew.

Is there a dress code?
Each attendee is asked to wear modest clothing suitable for entering an Orthodox church – that is, with men wearing a collared shirt with pants, and women wearing attire covering from shoulders to clavicle and to the knees. The Bride is reminded that, as the wedding crowns go onto the head, to be mindful of this fact when arranging hair or veils.

Are there any other people involved in the ceremony?
There are two witnesses to an Orthodox wedding ceremony, at least one of whom must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing.

How long does the service go for?
The real answer to this question is ‘as long as it takes’, but based on past experience: somewhere between 45 minutes (with a soloist using simple melodies) to an hour (with a full choir).

When can we have our wedding?
There are a number of days in the year when it is not permitted to serve a wedding, to allow the faithful to participate fully in the Church’s liturgical life. For dates when this is the case, please view the page of St Nicholas’ church in Newcastle. For many practical reasons, we strongly recommend marriages on Sundays. NOTE: Please discuss potential wedding dates with Fr Andrew before booking any other venues.

What about a choir?
Our parish choir may be able to sing at your wedding. Generally, the choir have already selected the music that they will sing at the wedding. Please speak to Fr Andrew regarding such arrangements.

For Photographers and Videographers

The vast majority of the service happens in the centre line of the main body of the church.

Photos before, during and after the ceremony are not a problem.

We ask to avoid three things:

  • Please do not use flash photography.
  • Please do not cross between the priest and the couple, or the priest and the altar, during the service.
  • Please do not stand on the raised platform at the front of the church.

There are some key parts of the ceremony which photographers may wish to be mindful of. For your convenience, we’ve also suggested some placements for where to take these photos (remembering that the church faces East). These are, in order:

  1. The exchange of rings (perpendicular to priest & couple); 
  2. The procession from betrothal to crowning (Northeast or Southeast);
  3. The inquiries (perpendicular to priest & couple); 
  4. The crowning (many angles are good, starting with perpendicular to priest & couple); 
  5. The Common Cup (Northeast or Southeast);
  6. The ‘Dance of Isaiah’ (again, many angles are good, as the priest will lead the couple in a circle around the main icon three times);
  7. The removal of crowns (Northeast or Southeast);
  8. The greeting of the couple (at the end of the service).

Christmas & Theophany

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We celebrate the Birth of Christ on 7 January, and
the Baptism of Christ (‘Theophany’) on 19 January.

This page is a resource for this vital season in our church calendar.

In 2018-19, Christmas falls on a Monday.  Because of our rubrics, this has an impact on our schedule.

Christmas Eve
Service texts can be downloaded through this link.

4 January 2019: The Royal Hours (9am-10:30am).  These are preparatory services, meditating on themes of the Birth of Christ.

5 January 2019: Christmas Eve Vigil (6pm-8pm).  This combines Pre-Christmas themes with hymns on the Holy Fathers – how the Incarnation of Christ was brought about, and the people from the Old Testament who helped (however indirectly) to make it happen.

6 January 2019: Christmas Eve Liturgy (8:30am-10:30am).  This is our Communion service.
Then, Vespers of the 8 Prophecies (10:30am-11am), which is a service focused on Old Testament readings which prophesied about the Birth of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

Christmas Day
Service texts can be downloaded through this link.

6 January 2019: Great Festal Vigil for Nativity (6pm-8:30pm).  This service focuses on the Birth of Jesus Christ, and what that means for our salvation.

7 January 2019: Christmas Day Liturgy (8:30am-10:45am).  This is our Communion service.

Theophany – The Baptism of our Lord
Service texts will be able to downloaded here.

18 January 2019: Great Festal Vigil for Theophany (6pm-8:30pm).  This service focuses on the Baptism of Jesus Christ, and what that means for our salvation.

19 January 2019: Theophany Liturgy (8:30am-10:30am).  This is our Communion service.
Then, the Great Blessing of the Waters (10:30am-11am), which commemorates the Baptism of Christ, in part through blessing water – a building block of human life.

Note: In 2019, on the evening of the 19th and the morning of the 20th, there will be no services at Holy Annunciation.  Parishioners are invited to attend the patronal feastday services for St John the Baptist Mission in Toowoomba.

We welcome you to worship Christ with us!


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It is our great joy to welcome you to our humble parish. All people of good will are welcome to attend.

What’s On: Wednesday Evenings

On alternating weeks, at 6:30pm, we either serve Vespers (until approx. 7:30pm) or hold a Bible Study (until approx. 8pm).  Around 10 people are generally present at either.

Vespers is an evening service, one that is very contemplative and prayerful, including readings, psalms and traditional hymns.

Our Bible Study is led by Fr Andrew in the church office (best accessible via our back ramp).  Having studied Ephesians, Mark and Acts and Romans, the second half of 2019 will be occupied by studying the Gospel of John.

What’s On: Saturday Evenings

On Saturday evenings, we serve the Vigil service, starting at 6pm (until approx. 8pm).  Around 10-20 people are generally praying at this service.

The Vigil service is composed of Vespers, Matins and First Hour, with psalms and hymns making up most of the service, with a Gospel reading as a centrepoint.

During the Vigil service, Orthodox Christians are welcome to the Sacrament of Confession. If you wish to come to Confession, you are able to do this by holding an unlit candle while standing on the left hand side of the church (a queue should form under the archway).

What’s On: Sunday Mornings

On Sunday mornings, we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, starting at 8:30am (until approx. 10:30am).  Around 30-40 people are generally praying at this service.

Partaking of Communion is done within the context of the Divine Liturgy. As such, people who are presenting themselves for Communion must be:

  • Orthodox Christians, who
  • Have read the appointed pre-Communion prayers, and
  • Have fasted (i.e. from midnight), and
  • Have recently been to Confession.

Visiting Orthodox Christians who wish to commune are asked to speak with Fr Andrew prior to the start of the service.

Other events:

We also celebrate services for major feastdays of the Christian Calendar.  We ask that you view our Parish Schedule for any additions or changes to our regular services.

Rules in Brief:

We ask our visitors to, in short, be respectful.  Most rules are covered by this simple injunction.  If you would like to sit down, please feel free to do so.

We also ask our visitors to dress modestly – covering from shoulders and clavicle down to the knees.  If you would like further details, we welcome you to view photo albums available on Facebook.

If in doubt, just ask – either by e-mail, by form (at the bottom of the page), or at the candle desk at church – and someone will be happy to help.

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you to Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church!