The Sign of the Theotokos Church was founded in September 1978 as an Orthodox Christian community accessible to people of various ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. We celebrate our liturgical services mainly in English, using some French, Greek and Slavonic as necessary. Our uniqueness among the Orthodox parishes in Montreal is the multiethnic character of our parishioners, with various members of The Sign having ethnic origins in such countries as Russia, Greece, Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Colombia, United States and Canada. In our parish hall we have over 20 country flags, each representing the country where someone from The Sign was born. While using English as the primary language of communication, we rejoice in the many gifts that each ethnic group has brought to Orthodoxy and our community.
We are a parish within the Archdiocese of Canada (led by His Grace, Bishop Irénée of Québec City) of the Orthodox Church in America (headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington DC).
As members of The Sign of the Theotokos, we are encouraged to strive to be illumined and transformed into the image of Christ in our communal and personal lives. We are also encouraged to take up our cross daily and follow him, to bear witness to his image that is in us, and manifest him to each other and to our neighbours through our words and our deeds.
Consecration of the Church — 18 May 2009
The Sign parish was founded in 1978. After years of renting space, our church building was purchased in the summer of 2000. Nine years later, the altar was renovated and an iconostasis installed. With that completed, the church was consecrated and relics placed in the altar table on Monday, May 18, 2009 by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, the then Primate of the OCA. He was assisted by His Eminence the former Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada and His Grace Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, along with Archpriest John Tkachuk, Rector of The Sign and many local and visiting clergy and faithful.
The Orthodox Church was founded by our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ and is the continuation of Christ’s prophetic, priestly and kingly power.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Orthodox Church is the household of God with Jesus Christ as its head. The Church has struggled for almost two thousand years to bear witness in various cultural and historical settings to his birth, crucifixion and resurrection.
The Orthodox Church’s faith, discipline and worship are based on the Holy Scriptures, Holy Tradition, the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the Holy Fathers. The Orthodox Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. The Orthodox Church is hierarchical and conciliar in both form and function. Bishops are appointed to guide, rule and teach their flocks. Priests and deacons assist them in their sacred work. The bishop is the divinely-appointed teacher of the Faith, and the entire Church membership — bishops, priests, deacons and laity — are the guardians of the Faith. The Church is a eucharistic society, with the profession of the Nicene-Constantinapolitan Creed and reception of Holy Communion being the on-going criteria for membership in the Church, the Body of Christ.
Orthodox Christianity in North America was first established in Kodiak, Alaska in 1794 (then a Russian territory). For more than 200 years, Orthodox Christians in the United States and Canada have attempted to live the fullness of this sacramental and sacrificial tradition as the indigenous Church. Worshiping God in Trinity while witnessing to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the heritage of the Orthodox Church.