Saturday, July 22, 2006

Photos of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri

On July 14th, the Latin Liturgy Association visited numerous Saint Louis area churches.

This is Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, located in the Central West End neighborhood of Saint Louis, Missouri, and site of the annual Labor Day weekend Greek Festival.

The church was built in the 1930s and greatly expanded in 1960. The staircase up to the church was replaced by a two-story narthex seen here in the front.

Members of the Latin Liturgy Association in the second floor of the narthex.

Our guide noted that in the ancient Church, catechumens would leave the Divine Liturgy before the consecration of the Eucharist, or what we used to call the Mass of the Faithful, and retire into the narthex for education. Traditionally, this included many instructional items helpful for catechesis. The instruction took three years: the first year was the philosophy of Plato, the second the Old Testament, and the third the New Testament. Platonic philosophy, besides being a good foundation in rational thinking, also provides a framework for the veneration of icons.

Discussion of the differences between Greek and Latin Christianity.

The sanctuary, iconostasis, and baptismal font.

The church primarily uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. The missal used is a slender hardbound volume; the hymnal is likewise a slender hardbound book. Catholics have a love of novelty, requiring throwaway missals and large hymnals.

The etiquette of the church is quite strict.

The altar.

This stained glass window in the front of the church replaces the original front door into the church.

A view to the side of the nave.

A view down one of the side-aisles.

A Western Romantic icon of Saint Paraskevi. The congregation who built this church in the 1930s were very poor and could not afford to purchase only canonical icons from the East, so instead used local artists who worked in the styles of the Latin Church.

Icons in the narthex.

Icon of Christ rescuing the souls of the just in Hades.

Icon of Christ and the woman at the well, located in the first floor of the narthex. The icon depicts the well as a full-immersion baptismal font (since the discourse at the well figures baptism), while the woman's various 'husbands' look on.


4967 Forest Park Boulevard
Saint Louis, Missouri 63108

This church uses the Gregorian Calendar, so today is the feastday for Mary Magdalene both for this Greek Orthodox church and the Catholic Church. Their title for the feastday is "Mary Magdalene, Myrrhbearer and Equal-to-the-Apostle"


  1. How come the Orthodox get all the cool names for Mary and the Saints?

  2. "How come the Orthodox get all the cool names for Mary and the Saints?"

    That is what Latin is for! Just take a look at the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary for some good titles.