What to Expect

We are always delighted to welcome visitors and newcomers. When you arrive, you will be met by an usher at the door and given a mass booklet for the day. Please feel free to sit anywhere in the church.

Relax and leave shyness at the door. Parishioners here are a friendly bunch, so feel free to sit close to others.

Feel free to participate as you feel comfortable.  We have found that over time, we have come to love this place where together we experience Christ. We have found a sacred and unique experience, beautiful music, great friendship.  We’ve found quiet and peace here.  We welcome you and hope we will see you here often.

Coffee Hour.  After the 10:00 am  Mass, which lasts for about 90 minutes, we hope you will join us downstairs in the undercroft for coffee and refreshments.

What to Bring. Just yourself and your friends.

What to Wear. What you wear to mass is of no real importance. What is important is you, not what you are wearing. As a general practice, however, people are relatively informally dressed for the 8:00 am Sunday mass; but you are unlikely to see people in cut-offs, tank tops, or flip-flops. The 10:00 a.m. mass, which is a more formal service, gives you an opportunity to strut your traditional flair with, for example, khakis, shirts, skirts, slacks, suits or dresses. The congregation tends to be relatively dressed up on major holidays like Christmas Eve, Palm Sunday, the Great Vigil, and Easter.

Chatting. Although there are usually conversations in the narthex, we are inclined to keep a reverent silence as we kneel or sit in our pew while waiting for Mass to begin. You may also notice that most of our parishioners reverence (with a brief bow or genuflection) the Blessed Sacrament reserved on the altar before entering their pew and taking their seat. But do whatever you feel comfortable with.

If you arrive early for a High Mass, you may catch the last of rehearsal by the choir or the sacred ministers and their acolytes.

Blessed Sacrament. On the altar at its center is the tabernacle that contains the Blessed Sacrament. Unless the tabernacle is empty, as it is between Maundy Thursday until the end of the Great Vigil of Easter, a light burns in a lamp suspended above the altar indicating the presence of the Sacrament.

Gospel Book. You may notice that before the service begins a member of the altar party places a large book clad in silver against the tabernacle. At the appointed moment in the Mass, the deacon will carry that book with great ceremony into the nave From the center of the nave, the deacon will chant the Gospel for the day.

After the Gospel is proclaimed, the subdeacon will carry the book back into the sanctuary, present it to the celebrant who will kiss the text just read.  The subdeacon then places the book  on the credence table beside the altar and returns to his place.

Receiving Communion: All baptized Christians in good standing are welcome to receive communion.

At High Mass

PictureThe High Mass on Sunday, which is the first day of the week, begins at 10 am and is the principle service of the week.

It is celebrated at the High Altar with  three sacred ministers, a full complement of acolytes, incense, choir, organ, and sometimes a small instrumental ensemble.

We occasionally lack a sufficiently large altar party to celebrate High Mass. In those instances we celebrate what is called a Missa Cantata, or festive sung Mass.

At Low Mass

Low Mass, which we call  Quiet Mass, is celebrated on Wednesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 7:30 am and and on Sunday at 8:00 am are said rather than sung. They are relatively intimate and usually do not include a sermon. Workday low masses last about 30 minutes. The Low Mass on Sunday is celebrated at the high altar and last about an hour. If you are not familiar with the Mass, the Mass booklet in your pew can serve as a guide.