HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

7545 Main Street

Ralston, Nebraska 68127

402-573-6558

Fr. Victor with his wife Cheri

Subdeacon Michael with his wife Tari

THINKING ABOUT VISITING?

 

Maybe you have heard about us from a friend or family member, explored our parish website or seen our Facebook page, and you are thinking, “ Maybe I should visit that church?”

 

Yet, you may be a little hesitant because you don’t know what to expect. You may be wondering, How will I be received? Will I be put on the spot? What are the people like? What will the Service and sermon be like? What will the pastor be like? 

 

These are all important questions, and we have provided this page to answer them for you and to put you at ease because we are convinced that not only is Holy Cross parish a church that you should visit, but one that you should not miss!

 

At Holy Cross parish visitors are always welcome. We are a friendly and welcoming Christian community and you will feel right at home. You can come just for worship or you can stay for fellowship after the Service. We have fellowship and refreshments in our parish hall every Sunday after worship, and a potluck luncheon on the last Sunday of each month. You will love our potlucks. There is always plenty of good food and warm fellowship. Visitors are our guests and do not have to bring a thing. Just come and expect to have a good time!

 

Don’t worry about being put on the spot. You won’t be. We never ask visitors stand or to introduce themselves to the congregation. You will be made to feel welcome, and will be free to participate as much or as little in our Services as you like, and to remain for fellowship or leave right after worship as you choose.

 

The church is not a building or an organization, it is people; and at Holy Cross parish you will find warm, friendly and genuine people who love God and seek to live as faithful Christians while struggling with the same trials, challenges and setbacks in life that we all do. One thing you will notice very quickly is that we are a real community, a church family. You will find it easy to get to know and make friends with members of our congregation, and after a few weeks you will feel like you have known the people here for years. Holy Cross is a church where you can make friendships that can last a lifetime.

 

Our Services are reverent and inspiring. We use the historic Book of Common Prayer in our worship, commonly called the English Liturgy. It is also sometimes called the Liturgy of St. Tikhon. The Book of Common Prayer is in essence the Bible arranged for use in worship, and over the centuries it has been described as, “Our incomparable Liturgy.” The word “liturgy” means “work of the people” because members of the congregation are full participants in the worship and not merely spectators.  

 

We pray Matins (Morning Prayer) every Sunday at 9:15 AM, followed by the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM, with fellowship and refreshments or our monthly potluck luncheon immediately after Services.

 

Matins or Morning Prayer consists of Psalms and Canticles sung to ancient chant, along with two Scripture lessons and prayer. Matins is part of the daily Services of the Church, called the Divine Office, and on Sunday morning is sung in preparation for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist. While Matins is a beautiful Scripture based Service, on your first visit to Holy Cross parish you may want to come just for the main Service — The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM.

 

The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist is also known among Christians as the Divine Liturgy, the Holy Communion, the Divine Service, the Lord’s Supper and Holy Mass. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek and means “Thanksgiving.” At the Last Supper Jesus took bread and wine, gave thanks, and gave it to his disciples saying “this is my Body” and “this is my Blood," and commanded them to “Do this in remembrance of me.”

 

After nearly 2,000 years we continue to follow the command of Jesus and the practice of the early Christians by celebrating the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist every week as the chief Service of the Church. The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist consists of ancient prayers, two Scripture readings, a sermon, the offering of our oblations of bread and wine and their consecration, a preparation for the reception of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the administration of Holy Communion to the faithful, prayers of thanksgiving, and a benediction. The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist, with a Bible-based sermon, lasts about an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half.

 

During the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist our cantor and schola cantorum (vested choir) will be singing verses from the Psalms and other texts of Holy Scripture according to ancient Gregorian chant. Gregorian chant is beautiful and will lift your spirit to the throne of grace. During the Liturgy, the congregation will also sing some of the great hymns of the church from the hymnal which you will find in the rack of your pew. We have a wonderful music ministry at Holy Cross parish that will bless and inspire you.

 

If you are not familiar with liturgical worship you need not worry. You will find Liturgy Booklets in the pew racks that will help you to follow the Liturgy effortlessly and to fully take part in the worship. C. S. Lewis, who himself worshipped according to our Liturgy, wrote, 

 

“Every Service is a structure of acts and words through which we receive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And it enables us to do these things best — if you like, it “works” best — when, through long familiarity, we don’t have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church Service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.”

 

Liturgical worship makes it possible to effortlessly worship together, in common as a congregation, and that is why the book we use is called the Book of Common Prayer. One thing you will notice is that the English we use in our liturgical worship is not the English that you would hear on the street. It is a very formal English, an English that was never spoken on the street in any century. Rather, it is the formal English of the royal court, and is used when we draw near to the throne of grace and address Almighty God in prayer and worship.

 

Our pastor is Fr. Victor Novak. We address him as “Father” not out of formality, but because he is the spiritual father of our church family. Fr. Victor is 61 years old, and this year is his thirty-fifth year in the ordained ministry. He and his wife Cheri have been married for thirty-seven years this year. You will like our pastor. He is very down to earth and personable, and he loves to teach the Holy Scriptures.

 

Now that you know a little more about Holy Cross parish, its people and pastor, we hope that you will agree that it is a church that you will want to visit. There is no reason to hesitate. We are a faithful and friendly congregation, and we have a place for you. We hope to see you on Sunday!

Christmas at Holy Cross

Choir Practice

Our Monthly Potluck Luncheon

SERVICE SCHEDULE

 

Sunday Services

 

9:15 AM    Matins (Morning Prayer)

10:00 AM    The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist

 

Fellowship and Refreshments in the parish hall follow the Sunday Liturgy, with a Potluck Luncheon on the last Sunday of each month

 

8:30 AM - 9:10 AM, Christian Education (September to May). Contact the church office or pastor for details.

 

Holy Day and weekday Services as announced.

 

Traditional Liturgical Worship — Biblical Preaching and Teaching — Warm Fellowship

 

Everyone is invited and visitors are always welcome. 

Subdeacon Michael and Fr. Victor