Holy Cross-Saints Constantine & Helen
Greek Orthodox Church
Huntsville, AL

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The Architecture of the Huntsville Church is in the style of the Basilica, the most ancient in Christian design. Main characteristics of this style are the cruciform floor plan and the apse (large concave niche behind the Altar Table).

Church Architecture

The Narthex is one of the three main divisions of an Orthodox Church. Its function is to prepare spiritually the worshiper for the Divine Liturgy, which is a celebration of the Kingdom. Historically, the walls of the Narthex were covered with murals depicting scenes from the Old Testament. Today the Narthex contains:

         1. Icon Shrine
         2. Candle Holders

The Nave, the largest area of the church building, is where the faithful worship. The walls of the Nave are covered with mural icons depicting scenes from the New Testament, the Four Evangelist, and other saints. Above the doors entering the Nave is Christ blessing with open arms.

The Solea , the raised area in front of the Iconostas, which extends to both exterior walls, forms the short arm of the cruciform floor plan. On the floor of the Solea are:

         3.The Bishops Throne
         4.The Cantor's Lectern

The Iconostas , an ornate wooden partition containing icons, separates the Sanctuary from the Nave. The central opening (traditionally screened by Royal Gates) may be used only by clergymen during services. It symbolizes the entrance of the tomb of Christ. Functionally, the north and south doors provide access to the Sanctuary,

Theologically, the north and south doors serve to remind that "He stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord so that no one should enter who is in any way unclean" (2 Chronicles 23:19). For this reason icons depicting the archangels Michael and Gabriel as guardians of the Kingdom are placed on the them.

The icons on the Iconostas are placed in the following order from left to right: Saint George, Saints Constantine and Helen, the Archangel Michael, Exaltation of the Cross, the Theotokos (Mother of God) holding the Christ Child, the Lord Jesus, Saint John the Baptist, the Archangel Gabriel, the Annunciation and Saint Dimitrios.

The Sanctuary is the third major division of an Orthodox Church. It corresponds to the Holy of Holies of the Old Testament. The Sanctuary is considered the most sacred area of the church, because from here the very Body and Blood of Christ are prepared and offered to the faithful in the form of the Holy Eucharist.

The Sanctuary holds the Altar Table, upon which the Book of Gospels, a Blessing Cross, the Candelabra, a Vigil lamp, and the Tabernacle are kept. The Sanctuary mural icons depicts the Theotokos and the Christ Child.

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Service Times

  9:00 a.m. – Orthros
10:00 a.m. – Divine Liturgy
11:30 a.m. – Sunday School

Office Hours

Monday to Thursday
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

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Sunday Readings

On Sunday, November 24, 2013 we commemorate:
13th Sunday of Luke

Matins Gospel

John 21:14-25

Epistle Reading

St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 6:11-18

Gospel Reading

Luke 18:18-27