What is the Orthodox Church?
The Church is not a created thing originating from a human teacher, nor group, nor a code of conduct or religious philosophy. The Orthodox Church has her origin with the revelation of God to humanity, beginning with His relationship with Abraham, manifesting His presence on earth as the God-Man Jesus Christ, and continuing to be present among us through the Holy Spirit. The Feast of Pentecost, which is celebrated fifty days after Easter, commemorates the "outpouring'' of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and marks the beginning of the mission of the Church to the world.
The Orthodox Church was founded by Christ through the Apostles and has maintained a living, historical connection with the Apostolic Church through the ordination of its clergy. The bishop that ordains an Orthodox priest today can trace his ordination historically all the way back to the Apostles, and through them to Christ. For this reason we are “apostolic” – rooted in the first Apostles – the disciples of Jesus.
We are Orthodox in that we worship the one, true God: YAWEH, the One Who Is, the God of Israel, revealed to His people to be the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Our worship and prayer services are rooted in history and scripture, passed down from generation to generation, all the while speaking relevantly to the struggles and concern of each generation.
We believe the words of God, that every human being was created in the image of God, with the task of realizing this gift and cultivating it to grow in His likeness. Many people have been let down by religion, discouraged by the struggles and stress of life, and the shame imposed by authority figures. The Orthodox Church rejects all these harmful ideas and instead focuses on the unique and inherent value of every human being, offering an experience of God rooted in freedom, respect, compassion, and love.
Although Orthodox parishes may carry a designation of Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox or some other ethnic identity, this does not imply that you need to be of a certain ethnic origin to join us in worship or to consider becoming an Orthodox Christian. "Come and see" what we're all about, and may your journey in the Orthodox Church be blessed!
Our Patron Saint
Our parish is named after St Philip the Apostle, one of the 12 Disciples commissioned by Christ.
This Apostle, one of the Twelve, was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and was a compatriot of Andrew and Peter. He was instructed in the teachings of the Law, and devoted himself to the study of the prophetic books. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus called him to the dignity of apostleship, he immediately sought out and found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (John 1.45). Having preached Jesus the God-man throughout many parts of Asia Minor, and having suffered many things for His Name's sake, he was finally crucified upside down in Hierapolis of Phrygia.
Our Church History
Our community is the only parish in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to be named in honor of Saint Philip the Apostle.
In February 1906, the estimated 350 Greek-Americans in the Nashua area established the Annunciation Parish. In 1923 another parish, named St. Nicholas, was created in Nashua. In the early days, the faithful of both parishes met in rental halls and churches. Eventually, both communities built churches in the local neighborhoods. They existed within clear view of each other until the decision to unify in 1971, establishing what is now St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church.
In March of 1972, Fr. Soterios Alexopoulos was assigned to serve the new parish. Construction began on the current church building and, in October of 1973, the first service in the new church was celebrated by Archbishop Iakavos. One year later, the Archbishop returned to name the parish after Saint Philip the Apostle.
With the proceeds from the sale of the two previous churches and the generosity of the faithful, the interior appointments of the church were purchased and installed. Of particular interest is the hand-carved iconostasion, by famed Byzantine woodcarver Konstantinos Pylarinos. Due to the layout of the church, the iconostasion stretches the width of the building, providing the opportunity to include additional icons and a large, arching 12-foot wide Royal Gate. The additional icons include the Annunciation and St. Nicholas, paying tribute to the previous parishes in Nashua.
The consecration of the church took place in November of 1982, marking a milestone in the history of St. Philip. It received the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos and His Eminence Bishop Anthimos.