A new person at Christ Church was asked why she came back after her first Sunday experience of worship.
“Because I got the idea that you didn’t need to be perfect to be welcome at Christ Church.”
Worship is at the heart of life at Christ Church. It’s our first love and our first duty!
Open early each morning, most days begin with the ‘Breaking of Bread’. This was at the heart of life among the early Christians, though it often seemed to happen in their homes, and then, during times of persecution in secret. As Christianity became more widespread and accepted, churches were built. All it takes for the Service of Holy Communion (another name for the Breaking of Bread) to happen is for two people, one of them a priest, a Bible and bread and wine.
The service is also known as ‘the mass’ or ‘the Eucharist’. At Christ Church we tend to use the word ‘mass’.
The daily mass generally takes place in the Lady chapel.
Most days at Christ Church there are five or six people, sometimes more like on Saturdays when a dozen or more meet at 8 a.m. and then have a simple breakfast together.
At every mass there are Bible readings and a short sermon, that is, an explanation,about what the readings mean.
Why do we ‘break bread’?
Because Jesus told us to! On the night before he died, Jesus met with his first 12 disciples in what we know as the ‘upper room’. He shared bread and wine with them telling them that in a mysterious but real way, they represented his life and love. They would experience his presence with them and remember his death each time the ate the bread and drank from the cup. On that night he gave the bread and wine to them, saying, ‘This is my body’ and ‘This is my blood’.
The main gathering of Christians at Christ Church takes place on SUNDAY @ 10 a.m.
SUNDAY is the day of the Resurrection, when Jesus rose from the dead, and from the beginning of Christianity it has been the key day for Christians to meet. For us, Sunday is special.
But some people just can’t get here on Sunday so their ‘resurrection day’ has to be on another day of the week.
Enter the Mystery….
Our ‘strap line’ at Christ Church is Enter the Mystery. It’s an invitation to enter the mysterious but loving presence of the God. We issue the invitation, but it is really his invitation to you. We invite you in his name.
We use rituals as well as words in or worship, but our worship also has informality about it! Somehow Jesus managed to be both the ‘Lord’ and ‘friend’, making those who were with him feel valued and loved and accepted in the presence of God.
There are times for expressing sorrow for our failings and receive forgiveness; times to sing; times to listen to the Bible and hear teaching about it; times to greet one another; times of silence; times to pray for others; time to receive the bread and wine.
And after the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, time to catch up and meet each other over Morning Tea.
At 6 p.m. on most days of the week (excluding Monday) just a few folk gather for a short time of Bible Reading and prayer. It takes place in the side chapel of the church called the ‘Lady Chapel’ (the ‘lady’ its named after is Mary the Mother of Jesus) It takes about 15 – 20 minutes.
It is then that the prayer requests left in the prayer box in the chapel by people who call in to the church during the day are offered.
The ‘wayside’ frieze of the Madonna and child near the entrance to the church…