Tag Archive for 'Communion'

Christmas Eve (late service) December 24, 2010

Isaiah 9:2-7                                                                          

Titus 2:11-14                                                                       

Luke 2:1-20

St. Matthew’s Church in Evanston, which I served before coming here, used to take Christmas Communion to residents of a local nursing home. We got lists from all the North Shore Episcopal parishes of their people in the home and we’d split the names up between me, the assistant priest, some associate priests, and our deacon. So that was how, one Christmas Eve, Fr. Michael Johnston, my assistant, found himself in the room of a gentleman in the Alzheimer’s unit of the home. Continue reading ‘Christmas Eve (late service) December 24, 2010’

Maundy (Holy) Thursday April 1, 2010

Exodus 12:1-14                                                                     

1 Corinthians 11:23-26                                                        

John 13:1-17, 31b-35

I’m embarrassed, really, looking back at myself as I was entering seminary. I was living proof of the old saying that God doesn’t call the equipped, God equips the called. I was kind of a religious prig. I was all excited that after a mere three years of education I would get to be called father, wear a black suit, and be regarded by everyone as holier than them. And especially I would get to celebrate Mass, where I would say the magic words of Jesus, “This is my body; this is my blood,” and the bread and wine would be transformed in Christ himself, his Body and his Blood. What power – power passed down to me through millennia of bishops laying on hands, power that ordinary people didn’t have. Continue reading ‘Maundy (Holy) Thursday April 1, 2010’

Pentecost 11 August 16, 2009

Proverbs 9:1-6                                                                     

John 6:51-58                                                                       

One of my fondest memories of Holy Cross will always be the ecumenical Thanksgiving service we celebrated at the Town Hall with Christ Community Church. This was back when Christ Community was just a house church, before they built their building in South Weare. A team of people from Holy Cross and a team from Christ Community worked together to design the service. We read the lessons and sang together, and then when it came time for Communion we had parallel tracks. Their pastor, Bob Christiansen, explained what they believed and how they celebrated Communion. I explained our beliefs and practices. And then we each did our thing, and people came forward separately, the Christ Community people in their line and the Holy Cross people in theirs.

Continue reading ‘Pentecost 11 August 16, 2009’

Easter 5 May 10, 2009

Acts 8:26-40                                                                        

John 15:1-8                                                                         


(Members of the youth group presented a dramatization of the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. The congregation renewed their baptismal vows, sprinkled with water from the Font by the children.)


Our lives are shaped by little coincidences that aren’t coincidents at all, but the workings of God’s Holy Spirit. We can plan our lives, our children’s lives, so carefully. We can work so hard at fulfilling dreams. But in the end, the power of the Spirit working largely unseen trumps whatever we try to do. Would I be here this morning, would I be an Episcopalian, let alone a priest, if a college friend had not invited me to come with him early one Sunday morning to the S.S.J.E monastery in Cambridge? I doubt it. The working of the Spirit.


So this drama we’ve just witnessed, about the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch, is about the working of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading ‘Easter 5 May 10, 2009’

About Worship at Holy Cross

Seasons of the Christian Year (here Advent) are observed in worship.

Seasons of the Christian Year (here Advent) are observed in worship.


The Episcopal Church is a liturgical church, which means that at the heart of our life is our Sunday worship. Each Sunday we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the original and most ancient form of Christian worship, instituted by Jesus himself. In the Eucharist we don’t just “say,” we “do.” This service is also called Communion or Mass.  Our worship is drawn from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, often called the most beautiful liturgy in the English language.  You’ll find that Episcopalians value beauty in worship, and the kind of structure which allows all worshipers to feel at ease and participate.  Weekly bulletins help you find your way. Continue reading ‘About Worship at Holy Cross’

Joining in Communion at Holy Cross

Of all the anxieties that visitors and newcomers to a church experience, “Can I receive Communion?” is probably right there at the top. There’s a fear that if one joins the congregation in coming forward at Communion time and one shouldn’t . . . an alarm will go off, God will hurl down a lightening bolt, or the priest will publicly humiliate you.

Well, none of those things will happen at Holy Cross! If a visitor comes to receive the Sacrament, she or he will receive it. At the same time, we do follow a simple rule, which is the requirement for receiving Communion in the whole Episcopal Church. That is, you should be baptized. Continue reading ‘Joining in Communion at Holy Cross’