The Russian Orthodox Church can trace its heritage back to the original 12 apostles, and today is the world’s largest Christian denomination with an estimated 1.2 billion members across 100 countries.
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, commonly referred to as ROCOR, is an autonomous branch of the Russian Orthodox Church headquartered in New York City. After unification with Moscow Patriarchate in 2007, ROCOR once again became part of its parent church.
The Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCOR) is one of the largest churches in America and is the sole American jurisdiction that falls under Moscow’s authority.
In Russia, the Orthodox Church is hierarchical and divided into several levels: a local parish (Russian: prikhod), an eparchy, and a bishop. All these are governed by the Holy Synod chaired by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
In the nineteenth century, Russian Orthodox thought was often marked by anti-Western and nationalistic sentiments. Under Emperor Alexander I, Catholicism and Protestant mysticism were often condemned as heresy.
Russia’s Orthodox Church experienced a major revival and rose to become an important element of national life. Unfortunately, it also endured persecution and schism, with many Old Believers being exiled or killed. Despite these setbacks, however, the Russian Church continued to thrive under tsarist rule until 1917.
The Russian Orthodox Church Orange County is home to a vibrant community of worshipers with one shared goal: keeping the Orthodox Faith alive. Our congregation includes families and individuals from various backgrounds who come together to uphold and spread this tradition, passing it down through generations.
The Church is organized around a series of services offered on Sundays and other holy days. These include Divine Liturgy and Vespers, as well as Sunday School.
Many services are held in a rented facility that features an elegant chapel, classrooms, fellowship hall and kitchen. Over time, the parish community has blossomed into an inviting hub where people from all backgrounds can find spiritual guidance, friendships and a sense of family.
The church’s primary service is the Divine Liturgy, consisting of an hour-long Matins (or Orthros) followed by a three-hour Eucharist. This is preceded by brief preparatory services.
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) provides Christian education to its parishioners. Most members are ethnic Ukrainians and Belarusians who have immigrated from Soviet-controlled countries, though some American converts have also joined this congregation.
The ROCOR is divided into four divisions, each with its own set of parishioners. Overall, there are just under 24,000 parishes across America under this system.
Throughout the Soviet era, an array of repressions and persecutions against Orthodox Christianity targeted them, leading to the closure of many churches and executions of hundreds of clergy. These practices continued into the 1950s and 1960s.
After 1988, when Mikhail Gorbachev’s government allowed parishioners to return and restore many older buildings, the ROCOR began rebuilding churches again. In 2007, they were finally reunited with Moscow Patriarchate in full communion – freed from persecution and able to celebrate full church life once more.
Our parish offers various ministries and programs to aid those in need. There is a food pantry, assistance to those with financial difficulty, as well as support for those recovering from alcoholism.
Outreach is one of the best ways to demonstrate Christ’s love. It also teaches us about compassion and responsibility.
The Orthodox Church has a long tradition of outreach to the poor. Many members of our parishioners are actively involved in this ministry.
Moreover, we have a dedicated group of volunteers that focus on outreach and community projects. These efforts are essential in helping the church grow and serve its surrounding area.
As part of its outreach to the community, Russian Orthodox church orange county hosts several special events throughout the year. These include a Christmas party for elderly attendees, fundraisers and Share the Love events with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). What an incredible way to give back and have fun!