In this section, explanations of terms and greetings unique to the Eastern Churches will be listed. If you would like to add an additional term, please email us at
"Christos Razhdajetsja" ("Christ is born!") - Greeting used during the Christmas season. The response to this greeting is "Slaveety Yoho" which means "Glorify Him!"
"Christos Voskres" ("Christ has risen!") - Greeting used during the Easter season. The response to this greeting is "Voistynu Voskres" which means "Indeed he has risen!"
Iconostas - A screen or grating that separates the sanctuary from the body of the church. The iconostas has three doors: the royal doors in the center which are used by the priest during some ceremonies; and two deaconís doors which are located on either side of the royal doors. Near the doors are icons of Jesus Christ, Mary, St. Nicholas and the patron saint of the church.
Koliady - Christmas carols having a religious element.
Kondaks - A short hymn of praise of Jesus, Mary and the Saints.
Moleben - A church service composed of special antiphons, tropars and kondaks and invocations. The moleben ends with one litany. The Moleben to Jesus Christ is typically said in June while the Moleben to the Blessed Mother is typically said in May.
Panakhyda - A short church service for the dead. It is used on Memorial Day, during a burial and on special occasions.
Paska - The Easter bread that represents Jesus Christ. When the parishioners consume Paska, they are symbolically partaking in Christís resurrection.
Plaschenycia - A holy shroud with a picture of Christ in death. This shroud is venerated from Good Friday until Easter matins.
Prokimen - A verse from the Old Testament.
Prytvor (vestibule) - The area where a person usually enters into the church building. It is also known as a vestibule.
Pysanky - Easter eggs that are intricately hand painted. This symbol dates back to pagan times in Ukraine when the painted egg represented the resurrection of nature to a new life at the beginning of springtime.
"Slava Isusu Christu" ("Glory to Jesus Christ") - Greeting used during the Pentecost season. The response to this greeting is "Slava na Veeky" which means "Glory for ever."
Tetrapod - Little table that stands before the iconostas. A cross, candles and an icon are typically placed on the tetrapod.
Tropar - A short song describing the deeds, the virtues and life of Jesus, Mary or the Saints.
Velykden - Term used to denote Easter.
Vespers (or Vechirnia) - A church service performed at night. Vechirnia represents the Old Law, creation of the world, the happy life of our first parents in paradise, their fall into original sin, the promise of the Redeemer made by God to Adam and Eve, the Incarnation of the Word of God and the redemption of men by the death of Jesus on Calvary.