Prayer and Service Times:
Visitors are always welcome at St. Nicholas Cathedral. During the week, St. Nicholas Cathedral is typically open for prayer from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. subject to the needs of the community and sacraments.
Our regularly scheduled services are:
Matins: Sunday at 7:45 a.m.
Divine Liturgy: Sunday at 9:00am
Paraklesis: Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
Vespers: Saturday at 6:00 p.m.
While the Cathedral’s parking lots can fill up during services, there are two public parking lots each one block away from St. Nicholas. Additionally, there is ample street parking on the surrounding streets on Hibiscus Street and E. Orange Street and limited street parking in front of the Cathedral on Pinellas Avenue.
Entering the Church:
One of the more popular questions received from visitors is, “what do I do when I enter and Orthodox Church?” As you will experience, the faithful entering the Cathedral first light a candle. Lighting candles is a prayerful moment as many will light them to pray for their loved ones and themselves. You may witness them also doing their cross after they light their candle. Orthodox Christians by tradition will cross themselves as part of their personal prayer, before venerating an Icon, or within Divine Liturgy as we hear an invocation of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It is then customary to venerate (kneeling before or kissing) the icons in the narthex (entrance) of the church. Icons are a very important part of the prayer life of Orthodox Christians, serving as visible reminders of the reality of God and as a way to focus one’s heart and mind on the Lord. As you venerate an icon, you are showing respect to God and His saints by praying in the presence of the icon, not praying to or worshipping the image depicted.
During services, we try to wear clothing that is dignified and shows respect to God. In all areas of our lives we should offer Christ our best, and the same is true of our dress. Revealing clothing or shirts with large words or logos emblazoned on have the potential to catch someone’s attention and distract them from prayer. For men, wearing a suit or long pants and a collared shirt and for women wearing a dress with sleeves, a skirt, or dress pants will blend in just fine. Some women choose to cover their head as a traditional sign of respect.