St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church is a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese under the authority of Metropolitan JOSEPH and the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, His grace Bishop ANTHONY.

Antiochian, means the city in the Book of Acts where it it is recorded “they were first called Christians” It is the historic residence of our chief shepherd under Christ. Currently Patriarch John, has a home in Damascus, Syria, and Balamand, Lebanon.

Orthodox means at once both “right teaching”, and/or “right glory”. Despite our human weakness, we believe the Orthodox Church is the true successor of the ‘fullness’ of the faith of Jesus Christ first delivered to the apostles and their successors. By the grace of the Holy Spirit the same faith is taught, the same worship is offered, the same medicine of immortality dispensed, that was first established by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first Christian Pentecost on or about 33AD. This living witness, continuity of life and practice, witnessed to by the various writings of the Apostles and their immediate disciples is still vibrant and efficacious in our midst.

As a community of both lifelong and newly converted Orthodox Christians, we have members from a wide variety of backgrounds and ethnic groups. All services are in English.

St. Nicholas Icon and Troparion

If you are looking for an Orthodox Church to visit or attend regularly or are just investigating the historic Orthodox Christian faith we invite you to visit or contact us.

Our church is located near the campus of the University of Illinois and downtown Urbana, Illinois. We are just west of the Urbana Free Library and Busey Bank in downtown Urbana at 312 West Elm.


Be sure to check out our News page (and Google Calendar) for up-to-date service information.

“The theology and practice of the Church is an apostolic gift”

One does not enter the Orthodox Church and according to our preferences attempt to shape and form its ethos, its cultural predisposition, primarily the “way things are done”, handed down by the Apostles themselves, . We must be shaped and formed by the ethos of the Church; its sights, sounds, smells, actions, auditory features and etiquette…its ways. We no more adapt the theology of the Church to our way of thinking than we design the ethos of the Church to fit our aesthetic predispositions. The theology of the Church is an Apostolic gift just as the sound and content of ecclesiastical hymnody was revealed to the Church from the Old Testament through the New Testament and throughout the ages of the Church by many heavenly and miraculous visitations. These visitations have revealed the ethos, the heavenly content and sound of our hymnody. This way of doing Church hymnody is part of the transforming power of holding to, “ …the traditions which ye have been taught… ” and allowing them to transform our preferences and predispositions.

Nathan Hoppe, Missionary to Albania

OCMC missionary, NAthan Hoppe will be at St. Nicholas Orthodox CHrch, 312 West ELm, Urbana, Thursday July 10, 7:00PM. He will be sharing with us some of the amazing progress that is being made in rebuilding the Orthodox Church in Albania from the ashes left by communism.

Holy Week Schedule 2014

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church • Urbana, IL


Bridegroom Matins, 6 PM • Confessions Follow

The Procession with the icon of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church, takes place, and we re- member the righteousness of Joseph who, like Christ, suffered unjustly with patience.

Girls and young ladies please wear white and plan to help with procession



Bridegroom Matins, 6:30PM • Confessions Follow

We remember the example of the ten virgins waiting for the Bride- groom.



Bridegroom Matins, 6:30 PM • Confessions Follow

We remember the woman who anointed the head and feet of our Lord, wiping them with her hair, in contrast with Judas and his be- trayal of Christ. The Hymn of Kassiane expresses these contrasts with profound poetry and majesty.



Sacrament of Holy Unction, 6:30 PM

We are anointed for healing of soul and body as Christ was anointed in anticipation of his burial. All should have made their confession before this point.



Liturgy of St. Basil, 9 AM

On this day, when Jesus first said to his disciples, “Take, eat; this is my Body,” Orthodox Christians make it a point to participate in Holy Com- munion. Children may be excused from school. Foot washing ritual at close of Liturgy



Matins with the Twelve Passion Gospels, 6:30 PM

We walk with our Lord through the Passion. A procession with the Cross commemorates Christ’s voluntary Crucifixion.



Royal Hours, 10 AM 

We try to spend this day in Church, heeding our Lord’s words to “watch and pray.” During Ves- pers, Christ is taken down from the Cross and placed in the decorated tomb. Children may be ex- cused from school for the day for services

Un-nailing Vespers, 3 PM

Resurrectional Matins of Christ’s Funeral, 6:30 PM •

We join Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and the Myrrh-bearing Women to sing in Praise of the buried Christ, and we process with the Bier and passing under it as if joining Christ in the tomb.



Liturgy of St. Basil, 10 AM

As we keep vigil, the Victory of Christ over death and his Resurrection ‘explodes’ with throwing of the leaves of victory. Please bring your children to this service. RUSH/MATINS/LITURGY, 11 PM HOLY PASCHA!

We receive the new Light and the Good News that “Christ is Risen.” Please bring dyed-red eggs. You may also bring Easter Baskets to be blessed for enjoyment and sharing after Liturgy. Our parish will also serve additional food to break the Fast.


Love Vespers, 1:30 PM • Pitch-in Feast with our Paschal Leftovers

The Good News (Gospel) of the Resurrection will be proclaimed in as many languages as possible.. Easter Egg hunt to follow.




Entrance of the Theotokos

On November 20, the eve of the Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, our parish will celebrate an Evening Liturgy beginning at 6:30.

Honoring the benevolent memory of St. Nicholas

Since St. Nicholas was known far and wide for his love of children, it is our custom engage in a benevolence effort to honor our patron. This year, as in recent years, we will be taking up
a collection of items for babies and small children to donate to the Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center, a charitable organization that provides support to women in crisis with unplanned pregnancies, that they might not despair and abort their children.

These are the items needed:

Diapers in size newborn, 4, 5, and pull ups. (Apparently they must have a good stock of sizes 2 and 3)
Baby lotion, bath wash, diaper ointment
newborn baby clothes
COATS from infant up through 5T

Bible Study

We continue our study of the Gospel of Luke this week with Luke 7:1-8:39
Youth and adults meet together every other week to study the Gospel. This Sunday evening we meet at the Kelley home, 208 Naples Drive, Rantoul at 6:00pm.

Don’t forget to “Fall Back”

Just a quick reminder to change your clocks this weekend.

Lazarus Saturday travel

The Illinois Marathon is this Saturday – Lazarus Saturday. Travel will be affected throughout Champaign and Urbana. You can see the race route and affected roadways here and you can read about MTD service and reroutes here.

Roads in Champaign will not close (but expect significant delays). Roads in Urbana will close but will be open for crossing when marathon traffic is low (also significant delays).

Unaffected routes: From the north use Lincoln to Springfield/Main to Elm. From the south you will need to go to Staley on the West or I-57 or to Hwy 130 on the East to get north of the Marathon route.

Holy week service schedule

All services will occur at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church unless otherwise noted.

Lenten services

Wednesday, April 24 at 6:30 PM- Presanctified Gifts  (No first hour this week)

Friday, April 26 at 7pm – Small Compline with Canon for Lazarus

Saturday, April 27, 8:30am – Orthros
9:30am - Chrismation Service
10:00am – Saturday of Lazarus Divine Liturgy

Holy Week Schedule
Saturday, April 27, 5:00pm – Great Vespers of the Triumphal Entry

Sunday, April 28, 9:00am – Palm Sunday Matins with Blessing of Palms
10:00am – Divine Liturgy of Palm Sunday

Sunday, April 28, 7:00pm -  Bridegroom Matins with Procession

Monday, April 29, 8:30am at Three Hierarchs GOC – Presanctified Gifts
7:00pm – Bridegroom Matins

Tuesday, April 30, 8:30am – Presanctified Gifts 8:30 AM
7:00pm – Bridegroom Matins

Wednesday, May 1, 8:30am at Three Hierarchs GOC – Presanctified Gifts
7:00pm – Holy Unction

Thursday, May 2, 10:00am – Divine Liturgy with Foot Washing
7:00pm – Twelve Passion Gospels (Crucifixion)

Friday, May 3, 9:00-11:00am – Royal Hours (decorating the tomb)
3:00pm – Holy Friday Vespers (Taking down from the Cross)
7:00pm – Holy Saturday Matins (Praises for the Resurrection)

Saturday, May 4, 10:00am – Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil
11:00pm – Pascha Rush Procession and Great and Holy Easter
Festal meal to follow

Sunday, May 5, 1:00pm-ish -  Agape Vespers

Lenten Retreat – The Transformation of the Human Soul: An exploration of our inner powers

Please join us for the 2013 Lenten retreat led by the V. Rev. Fr. John Bethancourt, pastor of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Friday April 5
6:00PM Small Compline with the Akathist Hymn
7:00PM First Retreat Session: The Perceptive, Appetitive and Incensice powers of the soul:How they have become disordered and how they are healed.

Saturday April 6
9:00AM Memorial Saturday Liturgy
10:30AM Second Session with Lenten luncheon: Paschabilites: An Orthodox Exploration of Neuroscience. A look at the whole topic of brain plasticity and why joy, faith, hope, and love (along with patience, endurance, longsuffering, and delayed gratitfication) are powerful transformers of the brain… and by extension the whole human person.

5:00PM Great Vespers
6:00PM Third Retreat Session: Previous topics continued

Sunday April 7
9:00AM Matins
10:00AM Divine Liturgy with Fr. John as our homilist
6:00PM Final Session: No Theosis Without Kenosis

All events are free and will be held at St. Nicholas Orthodox church.