“By This All Will Know That You Are My Disciples ~ If You Love One Another”
John 13: 35
St. Michael’s is Byzantine in tradition and liturgical practice.
We are an Eastern Catholic Church within the Universal Catholic Church.
We welcome you to visit us and participate in our Divine Liturgy (Mass).
The best way to experience this is to attend and listen; to experience our Liturgy which is sung in praise to God rather than recited.
To get the most out of your first visit, simply follow along with our congregation. Do not worry about finding the correct page or text in the pew books (save that for next time!), but instead, observe and experience the fullness of all that you will be seeing, hearing, smelling (incense), and doing.
If you are an active Catholic in good standing, as in any other Catholic church, you may receive Holy Communion at our Liturgies. Since Holy Communion is received in both species from a small spoon, you should open your mouth wide and our priest will skillfully drop a small particle of the Blessed Sacrament in your mouth with no direct contact.
You may also notice that we stand during the Consecration of the gifts, rather than kneel. This is the normal practice in the Byzantine tradition as we are standing with our Resurrected and Glorified Lord and this is our proper liturgical sign of respect.
And you may also observe that we bless ourselves with the sign of the cross very frequently during Liturgy and every time we sing “Glory be…”. This is an affirmation of our faith made visible through our prayer-filled and active participation in our liturgies.
If you attend a Sunday or Saturday Vigil Liturgy following a recent Holy Day (Feast Day), you are most welcome and encouraged to go forward at the end of Liturgy with the congregation. You will receive a sacramental anointing on your forehead with blessed oil. The priest will bless you with the oil and greet you with a traditional greeting. You will have an opportunity to receive a piece of blessed bread (not Holy Communion) following this anointing. This festal bread is a symbol of Christ as the Living Bread of Life. We consume this bread with faith and express our trust in Christ.
- “Christ is Among Us” Response: “He is and always will be” (General)
- “Christ is Risen” Response: “Indeed He is risen!” (Easter)
- “Christ is Born!” Response: “Glorify Him” (Christmas)