The ORCCE believes that the worship (giving honour) of Almighty God should be offered to the best of our abiliites and resources and in a true spirit of adoration, praise and thanksgiving. The following describe our worship and how to behave...
As a Catholic Church the most frequent offering of our worship is the Mass but all other forms of devotion and service are regularly offered too including, Benediction (meditation in front of and blessing by the Holy Sacrament), the Liturgy of the Hours (Mattins/Vespers, morning and evening prayer) and Healing Services (anointing of the sick) as well as Baptisms, Marriages, Funerals etc.
Our worship is generally expressed in traditional style, Latin and "old fashioned" English (Thee and Thou) is used deliberately to reflect that our worship is addressed to God - not solely for the benefit of those listening. The traditional rite of Mass (the Tridentine or English Missal translation) is predominantly used. However the modern rite of Mass (Paul VI Missal) is also used by some priests and parishes in modern language but celebrated reverently.
The Liturgy (form of worship) of our Church is an holistic attempt to engage the whole person in the act of worship; bells, incense, music, candles, vestments are all employed to engage the senses; traditional language or Latin to engage the mind and spiritually to make tangible the presence of God... the reality of our dialogue in worship with Him. Whether the modern or traditional rite of Mass is used our clergy are schooled to celebrate the liturgy with dignity, paying careful attention to the rubrics (directions) and to have inwardly the right spiritual intention for each action and moment of worship.
The traditional rite of Mass, its form, intentions and manner of celebration has evolved through centuries of Christian worship and shares much in common with the worship of Christians in the Eastern tradition, expressing the unspoken but real depth of spiritual unity in Christ's Church on earth. Those used to or who remember the traditional Mass will feel most comfortable with our style of worship; those unaccustomed or new to the old Mass will, we are sure, feel something of the mystery and beauty conveyed by the traditional rite and enjoy the experience of feeling united to those who have gone before us in Faith, worshipping as they did but now, in the present. It is truly a universal experience.
ABOUT RECEPTION OF THE HOLY COMMUNION
People who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation in either one of the following Catholic Churches are permitted to receive the Eucharist;
- Roman Catholic Church
- Orthodox Eastern/Oriental/Canonical Churches
- and Churches with whom the ORCCE has an Intercommunion Concordat.
No disrespect is intended to Communicants of other denominations, reception of the Holy Communion signifies unity with Christ and His Body the Church; the ORCCE actively prays and works towards that day when "earthly divisions shall cease".
However, we do invite all others to receive a blessing rather than the Host (Bread); to let the priest know to bless you with the Body of Christ, just cross your arms over your chest and bow your head.
It is the tradition in most congregations to receive the Host on the tongue, however reception in the hand is permitted, please indicate accordingly.
If you require a "gluten free" or "wholemeal" Host for dietary/medical reasons please let the priest or other minister know before the Mass begins! Traditionally the wine used in the Mass is alcoholic, no alternative is offered.
We strongly recommend against "intinction" (dipping the Host into the Chalice) as this has proved problematic. Our ministers of the Eucharist are trained to ensure the Host is consumed (eaten) in front of them. If you are concerned about hygiene e.g. you have a cold, we recommend only receiving the Host.
The ORCCE encourages Baptised persons not already Confirmed members of any particular church to enquire with us about receiving Confirmation and becoming a Catholic Christian.
You may observe members of our congregations making certain gestures while at prayer and during the course of the Mass. The following is a guide:
- Genuflection (bending of the knee): this is to show respect to the Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and is directed either to where the Sacrament is reserved or after the Consecration of the bread and wine at the Altar;
- Sign of the Cross: the right hand traces the sign of the Cross, symbol of our Faith, from the head to the chest and then from the left to the right shoulders across the chest. The sign is always made at the beginning of private prayer or public worship and at various other times during the liturgy to represent the Trinity, the Passion or blessing;
- Striking the chest: this is a sign of repentance and is used during the Confession and at the words "have mercy upon us" in the Gloria and the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God);
- Bowing the head: this is always done at the mention of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Saint of the Day, the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Trinity as a mark of respect;
- Bowing to the priest: this is a mark of respect not to the person of the priest but to Christ whom the priest represents as the celebrant of the Mass (alter Christus);
- Lighting Candles: lighting a candle before a statue or other sacred image is to leave a token in thanksgiving for the prayers one has made.
More information about Gestures and other Catholic customs will be available on this website shortly.