Name of Church St. Andrew Russian Greek Catholic Church

Address 538 Concord Street, El Segundo CA 90245

Phone number (310) 322-1892


Divine Liturgy Sundays, 10 a.m.  Feast days, 7:30 p.m.  Liturgy is sung and mostly in English.  Occasionally, you’ll hear parts in Slavonic (the liturgical language that is the ancestor of modern Russian).  Liturgy lasts about an hour and a half; they have more litanies and prayers of intercession, their own version of a preface and Eucharistic prayer.  Only the priest distributes Communion; he’ll say, “The servant [or handmaiden] of God, [your name], receive the precious Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Savor Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and unto life everlasting.”  You don’t respond, just open your mouth, tilt your head back and he gives you Communion (Host dipped in the Precious Blood) with a spoon.

Confessions  after Vespers or by appointment.

Names of priests Father Alexei Smith, pastor.  Father Alexei was formerly a funeral director, who joined the parish as a layman in the 1970s.  He entered the seminary the following decade, and was ordained a priest in 1987.  He has served St. Andrew’s since his ordination.  His focus as pastor has been the development of a full Byzantine liturgical life, education and Bible study.  He’s currently doing an educational series on the liturgy.

Special activities Vespers on the last Saturday of the month and eves of feasts, 6:30 p.m.; coffee hour after Sunday liturgy; Father Alexei and parishioners sometimes go to Shakespeare in the park in the summer months; there’s also a Christmas time outing of some sort.

Fellow parishioners While at one time you would have met many Russians, there are only a few who attend today.  Instead you’ll find people of all ethnicities, Most are over 60.  It’s a commuter church;  many people drivie in from miles away.

Parking There is no church parking lot.  Park on the street; you’ll usually find a spot close by.

Additional observations  St. Andrew’s is a Russian Greek Catholic Church located in the archdiocese of Los Angeles.  Although its liturgy differs from the Latin rite, it is in union with Rome.  The parish was founded in 1936 by Russians fleeing persecution in Stalin’s Soviet Union.  It relocated to its present site in 1957 (a former Latin-rite church).