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Frequently Asked Questions







Frequently Asked Questions

  1. In addition to being at church on Sundays, what are the ways I can serve if I wish to do so?
  2. What does “Episcopal” mean?
  3. What do Episcopalians believe?
  4. What is meant by liturgy?
  5. How will I know what to do during a service?
  6. What is the Holy Eucharist?
  7. Can anyone participate in the Holy Eucharist?
  8. Are there rules about what to wear to a service?
  9. Are Episcopalians Catholics?
  10. Is the Bible used in the Episcopal Church?
  11. What does it mean to be a member of the Cathedral?
  12. Do I have to be a member to have a wedding at the Cathedral?

In addition to being at church on Sundays, what are the ways I can serve if I wish to do so?


The Cathedral offers many choices for volunteer service. Some may require specific skills but most are open to all. An opportunity to serve people in need is offered through our feeding program Church Street Eats. Activities involving religious services include these: lay readers for Bible selections; Lay Eucharistic Ministers to take communion to homebound persons; acolytes and vergers who participate in the service; ushers and greeters; the Altar Guild; the Choir.

A variety of Ministry Teams work in diverse areas: Adult Christian Formation/Bible Study; Church Street Eats, a feeding program; Communications; Healing Ministry; Hospitality; Mansfield Education Committee; Monday Stewards who count the Sunday collection; Stewardship; Youth Ministry.

Look at the Sitemap for details on how you may be able to serve.

What does “Episcopal” mean?


The word “Episcopal” comes from the Greek word episcopos for “bishop.” Thus “Episcopal” means “governed by bishops.” The Episcopal Church maintains a three-fold order of ministry as handed down by the Apostles-- deacons, priests and bishops-- in direct descent, via the laying on of hands from the original Apostles.

What do Episcopalians believe?


Our faith is sometimes described as a three-legged stool: Scripture, tradition and reason. Traditionally the Episcopal Church has been a place where many points of view are welcomed as part of the life of faith. All can find a home regardless of ideology, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Episcopalians value what is revealed about God and God’s will as we take into account a variety of perspectives and voices.

What is meant by liturgy?


When you visit an Episcopal church, you will almost certainly find in a pew rack a copy of TheBook of Common Prayer. It includes various services and rites, creeds, prayers, psalms and a lectionary that lists daily Scripture readings. These and more comprise what is known as “liturgy,” a written pattern for our corporate worship. In corporate worship, we unite ourselves with others to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God’s Word, to offer prayer, and to celebrate the sacraments.

How will I know what to do during a service?


A printed bulletin, given to you when you enter, provides information on what happens during a service, such as when the congregation sings hymns or other music for the liturgy, when responses are made to prayers, or when it is appropriate to stand or kneel, if you are able. Congregation members nearby will gladly offer their assistance.

What is the Holy Eucharist?


The Holy Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, is the chief service of Sunday, the Lord’s day. It was instituted by Christ himself as a memorial of his sacrifice on the cross. It offers the elements of bread and wine consecrated and offered as the Body and Blood of Christ. “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word that means “thanksgiving.”

Can anyone participate in the Holy Eucharist?


At Christ Church Cathedral, all baptized Christians, regardless of age or denomination, are welcome to receive Holy Communion. The sacrament will be brought to persons unable to go to the altar rail. If you prefer not to have wine, you may take only the bread.

A baptized child may take communion at any age. The decision is left to the child and the parents.

Are there rules about what to wear to a service?


Come as you are. There are no rules about clothing.You will see member of our congregation in what may be considered “going to church clothes” but also in more casual choices.

Are Episcopalians Catholics?


Both the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church are within the apostolic succession but there are key theological differences. One example is that the Pope is not the head of the Episcopal Church though we recognize him as the head bishop of another branch of the Christian Church. In the Episcopal Church, women, as well as men, can be priests and bishops, and clergy can be married.

In the Nicene Creed, a statement of our basic beliefs about God which is recited during the Eucharist, these words occur: “We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church.” The word “catholic” is in lower-case and means “universal.”

Is the Bible used in the Episcopal Church?


The Bible is central to the life of the Episcopal Church. The Book of Common Prayer encourages us to “hear, read, mark and learn” words of Holy Scripture “that we may embrace them and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.” Episcopalians have traditionally found that their unity in worship allows freedom in the reading and understanding of Holy Scripture. We recognize that the Holy Spirit speaks to God’s church today.

What does it mean to be a member of the Cathedral?


Every member of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut is a member of Christ Church Cathedral. The Cathedral hosts a congregation that regularly attends worship here. Membership in our congregation reflects a commitment to God’s mission through service and contributing financially to bring about that mission in the world.

Do I have to be a member to have a wedding at the Cathedral?


Membership in Christ Church Cathedral is not necessary. However, it is required that one member of the couple be a baptized and active member of an Episcopal church. Premarital counseling is required by the canons of the Episcopal Church.

Episcopalians in Connecticut are members of Christ Church Cathedral. Episcopalian who regularly worship at another parish in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut may hold a wedding at the Cathedral; their parish priest is responsible for the premarital preparation.