The first room in the temple is the vestibule, which is actually not part of the church proper. It corresponds to the outer court or Court of the Gentiles in the Old Testament temple.
Our vestibule has a bulletin board with church news and the week’s bulletins, a guest book we encourage visitors to sign, copies of the New Star newspaper, and not infrequently a few young children who needed to have a little break before returning to church.

Entering the doors into the church proper, one would traditionally find the narthex, which parallels the inner courtyard in the temple, otherwise known as the Court of Israel.
The narthex represents the fallen world. For example, the litiya service is served here, the narthex becoming symbolic of Golgotha where Christ was crucified. Historically, it was in the narthex that those who were penitents had their place.
Because St. Sophia was a purchased property, we do not have a narthex proper, so we use the back half of the vestibule for that purpose as needed.