The Byzantine Rite

St. John’s Church celebrates Liturgy according to the Byzantine Rite. Her theological traditions and her laws are those of the Byzantine Church which originated in the city of Constantinople, capital city of the Roman Empire from the year 325 to 1453.

The Byzantine civilization was one of the most glorious and durable in human history, and the fathers of the Church were able to grow in an understanding of our Lord and His Gospel that was then passed on to many of the nations of Eastern Europe, including Russians, Ukrainians, some Croatians, Hungarians, and Slovaks, the Romanians and others.

When people from these ethnic groups emigrated to the United States, they brought this treasure of faith with them. Our Church membership is open to people of all ethnic backgrounds and races. It is the heir to a faith in God, one in the Holy Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—that is essential in our journey to God. It is both traditional and modern, and emphasizes that through our union with Christ we become God-like and His beloved children.

We believe that God is with us and that in Holy Communion we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, the Son of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we can sing, “We have received the Holy Spirit.”


Differences & Similarities

There are many differences and similarities between the Byzantine Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic (Latin) Church.

Notable Similarities:

  • Seven Sacraments
  • Canon of Scripture
  • Communion with the Holy Father in Rome
  • Strong devotion to the Mother of God
  • Veneration of the saints

Notable Differences:

  • Liturgical use and veneration of icons
  • The way we make the Sign of the Cross
  • Our liturgical calendars
  • Ordination of married men to the priesthood
  • Reception of Holy Communion
  • Altar: priest faces East
  • Iconostasis (icon screen)
  • Standing for liturgical services
  • Strong patristic tradition
  • Emphasis on participation in the Heavenly Liturgy


Why Join Us?

Christ is among us!

During the Divine Liturgy we give ourselves to God, and in the Eucharist, Christ gives Himself to us. Come stand in His presence!

We love to sing!

The entire congregation joins together to worship Almighty God in song. As St. Augustine said, “Singing belongs to one who loves.” Come chant with us!

Small and beautiful!

Our parishes may be smaller in size but we know each other by name and care for one another. Come and join us!

We are Catholics!

Our Sunday Divine Liturgy fulfills the obligation of any Catholic who desires to worship with us.

Come and be welcome!

Visit With Us
  • Worship God together with us as part of the Mystical Body of Christ
  • Deepen your knowledge about the Byzantine Catholic Faith and Traditions
  • Build your personal relationship with Jesus Discover a life of meaning, joy and fulfillment
  • Be a part of our local parish communities through liturgical services, charitable work and service to your neighbor
  • Attend our social and cultural events Share your gifts and talents with us
  • Be supported in your spiritual journey by a community that will share your joys and sorrows
  • Experience God’s presence through the beauty of iconography, architecture and music
  • Welcome God into your heart
Come and See. Published by the Eparchy of Passaic’s Office of Eastern Christian Formation.
Interparish vespers
Father Skinta receiving First Holy Communicants
Christ is born! Glorify Him! Christos Razdajetsja! Sslavite Jeho! Христос раждається! Славите его!
Bethlehem carolers