THINKING ABOUT VISITING?

 

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

 

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 a congregation that you should visit, but one that you should not miss!

 

At Holy Cross visitors are always welcome. We are a friendly and welcoming New Covenant 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 after worship, and a monthly potluck luncheon. 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 to 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 ekklesia (Greek for congregation, assembly, community) commonly called “church” is not a building or an organization, it is people; and at Holy Cross you will find warm, friendly and genuine people who love God and seek to live as faithful disciples of the Messiah Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshua) while struggling with the same challenges, trials and difficulties  in life that we all do. 

 

One thing you will notice very quickly is that we are a real community, a spiritual 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 community of committed believers 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. The Book of Common Prayer is firmly rooted in the first century synagogue Services, and is in essence the Bible arranged for use in worship. 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. 

 

Liturgical worship has always been the practice of God’s people. Every Service that Jesus attended whether in the synagogues of Galilee and Judea or in the Jerusalem Temple was liturgical. Likewise, all history bears witness that early Christian worship was liturgical while never being suppressive of extemporaneous prayer. To this very day Jewish worship remains liturgical in the synagogues of Israel and throughout the world. 

 

Morning Prayer (Shacharit or Matins) consists of Psalms and Canticles sung to ancient chant, along with two Scripture readings and prayer. Likewise, Evening Prayer (Maʿariv or Vespers) consists of Psalms, Canticles, two Scripture readings and prayer. A sermon accompanies weekly Services, although it may be omitted in daily Services. The 150 Psalms of David are prayed through twelve times each year, and by following our daily Lectionary we essentially read through the entire Bible yearly. Our Services generally last around an hour and a quarter,  give or take a little depending on the length of the sermon.

  

If you are not familiar with liturgical worship you need not worry. You will find liturgy books in the pew racks that will help you to follow the liturgy effortlessly and to fully take part in the worship. 

 

Writer C. S. Lewis, who himself worshipped liturgically 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 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 spiritual family. This practice is part of our Celtic and English spiritual tradition and has its roots in Second Temple Judaism. 

 

Fr. Victor is 62 years old, and is in his thirty-sixth year in the ordained ministry. He and his wife Cheri have been married for thirty-eight years. 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 congregation 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 soon!

Choir Practice

Our Monthly Potluck Luncheon

Fellowship Hall

SERVICE SCHEDULE

 

Our Service Schedule has changed in response to Covid-19. 

 

SUNDAY SERVICES:

 

9:00 AM    Morning Prayer (Shacharit or Matins) with a Sermon

 

Sunday Services generally last around an hour and a quarter depending on the length of the sermon.

 

Holy Day and weekday Services are as announced.

 

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

 

To keep up to date on congregational news and announcements please visit our Facebook page. New posts are made on there regularly. We hope that you will visit our Facebook page and check back with it often. Better yet, visit our Facebook page and become a Follower. That way you will not miss a single post.

 

You can access the Holy Cross Parish Facebook page here:

 

https://www.facebook.com/Holy-Cross-Parish-362370402748

 

Everyone is invited and visitors are always welcome. We are a faithful and friendly congregation and we have a place for you. We hope to see you soon!

HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH

7545 Main Street

Ralston, Nebraska 68127

402-573-6558