WHEN YOU COME TO HOLY CROSS ON SUNDAYS, THIS IS WHAT YOU'LL FIND:
You will be welcome. Everyone here is at some point in their journey of following Jesus.
We particpate in worship together. There is a choice of three services with fellowship, food, and Spiritual Growth classes in between them.
We sing hymns--sometimes old, sometimes new. You will hear beautiful music- everything from classical to contemporary. Our earlier service (08:45) tends to be more traditional; our later service (11:07) is more "switched on." But in both services we focus on the person of God, his perfections, and our encounter with Him.
In our services we pray together. We join in saying the Creed together. We move together--standing together to praise, sitting together for instruction, kneeling together for praying and for Communion. We pray both extemporaneous prayers and those that have stood the test of time, prayed by Christians worldwide for many hundreds of years. The latter use timeless words that can so beautifully capture our yearning for God and our joy because of his love and mercy.
Anglican worship emphasizes the holiness and majesty of God--and that prompts respect and reverence. Everything about an Anglican service points to our need for God and his mercy in forgiving us and making us whole in Christ. This aspect of worship is often forgotten, and reencountering it can be a deeply moving experience.
We confess our sins. Sin is man's number one problem. It separates us from God who is the source of all our answers and solutions! Anglican worship is about admitting we are utterly incapable on our own of pleasing God or earning our salvation. It constantly emphasizes that only by what Jesus did on the cross can we be forgiven and saved.
There is far more Scripture used in an Anglican service than in many other church services. Just hearing God's Word, even if it is not focused on in the sermon, helps us to grow and gives space for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. We read as many as four readings from Scripture--an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, an Epistle Reading, and a Gospel Reading. In addition, many of the canticles (ancient songs of praise) we sometimes say or sing are from Scripture, as are many of the words in the liturgy of the Prayer Book. An Anglican service is packed with Scripture.
At most of our services, we celebrate Holy Communion, and if you are a baptized Christian you are welcome to receive the bread and wine. You may take the bread and then drink from the common cup, or you may dip the bread into the wine (called "intinction"). If you or your family members prefer not to receive Communion, you may still come to the rail and receive a prayer of blessing--just cross your arms across your chest so the priest will know.
The outline for our worship services (Liturgy) comes from the Book of Common prayer. Anglicans have been using these thoughts - and even some of the same words - to express their worship to God for centuries. Yet, we think you will find in them a depth and freshness which will draw you nearer to God's heart. What you need to know to be able to join in will be already printed up for you in the service bulletin (08:45) or on the overheads (11:07). Nobody is keeping score. You won't feel out of place.
You will see special colors in the church, ones that remind us of the season of the church year. In penitential seasons like Lent (the 40 days before Easter) and Advent (the four weeks before Christmas), you will see purple on the Holy Table and in the stoles of our clergy. At Pentecost you will see red; at Easter and Christmas, white; at other times, green. These colors help remind us of the important events of Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection and of the life of the church.
Our clergy wear vestments that are rich in history and symbolism, clothing that takes the attention off of them as individuals and emphasizes their role in worship, preaching, and in celebrating Holy Communion.
Come, taste it for yourself. We are a mixture of young and old; diverse ethnic backgrounds and countries. Some folks have been here from our founding - some are new this month. We'd love for you to make this family your place of worship.