Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is worship like?
St. Matthew’s is "liturgical" - which means that everyone is encouraged to participate! The usher will give you a printed program when you enter, so that you may easily follow along throughout worship. We stand up when we sing, we sit down to listen to scripture readings and the sermon, and we kneel (if we're able) to confess our sins together. Members of the congregation read lessons from scripture, and our priest leads us in prayer. We share Communion every Sunday, which we think is important. Overall, we think our worship is beautiful, reverent, and joyful... and we think you'll like it too!
What should I wear to church?
Wear what you want... we won't judge! Everybody is different, but generally you'll see people at St. Matthew’s dressed in comfortable "Sunday casual" clothing.
Who may receive Communion?
Everyone is welcome and invited to share Communion with us. We believe that Holy Communion is sacred, that the “real presence” of Christ is present in the Eucharist, uniting us to Christ and to one another, and anyone who feels called to receive it may do so at St. Matthew’s. Christ's presence is also known in the gathered eucharistic community. If you're unsure for any reason, please speak to the priest... they'll be happy to help!
What's with all the standing and kneeling? Do I have to do the sign of the cross?
Visitors might notice that we do a fair amount of moving around in worship - sometimes we call this "pew aerobics." What's important to know is that these are ways that individuals choose to engage themselves in worship - it's a personal choice, and you should feel free to participate in ways that feel comfortable and meaningful to you. As a rule of thumb, we stand to sing and pray, we sit to listen, and we kneel to confess. We make the sign of the cross (forehead-chest-left shoulder-right shoulder), when we speak of the resurrection in the Nicene Creed, and when we receive a blessing from the priest. If this is all new to you, feel free to observe what others do, ask the people around you why these motions are important to them, and explore what it feels like to physically engage in the worship experience.
How do I receive Communion?
The usher will help you know when it's time to walk forward to the altar rail, where the priest and Eucharistic Ministers are distributing the bread and wine. When it's your turn, find a place at the rail - you may stand or kneel - and hold out your hands together so that the priest may place the bread in your palm. If you need a gluten-free option, please just say so when the priest comes to you. Once you have received the bread, you may eat it, and when the chalice comes to you, help the chalice bearer guide the cup to your lips and take a sip of wine. Or, you can hold on to your bread and intinct (or dip) the bread into the wine before eating it. If you prefer not to receive wine at all, simply cross your arms over your chest when the chalice bearer comes to you. If you prefer not to receive communion, but to receive a personal blessing from the priest, simply cross your arms over your chest at the communion rail, and the priest will bless you.