In addition to rediscovering ceremony, scholars of the Oxford Movement also led a return to classical Catholic theology. Most notably, they elevated the Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which we believe Christ to be really present to us in the sacramental bread and wine—His Body and Blood. From a Catholic viewpoint, this is an experience so profound that words become inadequate, and ceremonial gestures, such as the sign of the cross and genuflections, serve to express some of what we cannot put into speech.
Our liturgy incorporates a variety of ministers to enhance our worship, including the Celebrant, Deacon, and Subdeacon. Their roles and vestments date back to early Church tradition and not only define the roles of the servers, but also express the corporate nature of our worship by minimizing individual distinctions.
You may see congregants making gestures such as the sign of the cross or genuflecting. The gestures you witness are a matter of personal preference. The sign of the cross and other ceremonials are outward signs of reverence, expressions of deeply personal belief and practice. They are not requirements of our liturgy or indications one is ready for membership. We hope you feel comfortable experiencing our liturgy in a way that is meaningful to you. If you have questions, one of the clergy would be glad to explain these customs to you.