Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer)
Regular Sunday Liturgies
The principal Eucharistic liturgy on Sunday mornings is Solemn High Mass, held at 11 a.m. (10 a.m. in the summer months). This service uses traditional language, with service music by the Christ Church Choir, as well as with hymns for the congregation. This service makes use of many different parts of the church: the Old Testament lesson is read from the lectern by a member of the congregation, the Epistle from beneath the rood cross by a subdeacon. The Gospel is chanted from the center of the Nave by a deacon, and the sermon is delivered from the elevated pulpit. The celebration of the Eucharist itself takes place at the High Altar in the Sanctuary, beneath the East Window. At the appropriate moment, the members of the congregation come forward from the Nave to the Sanctuary, to receive Holy Communion at the Altar rail.
Solemn High Mass is usually about 90 minutes (somewhat briefer in the summer months, when the choir is on vacation). It is followed by Coffee Hour, a time for relaxed conversation and light refreshments in the Parish House (located across the garden at the rear of the church building).
There are two additional Eucharistic liturgies on Sunday Mornings: Low (Spoken) Mass at 8 a.m., and Holy Eucharist (Rite II) with hymns at 9:00 a.m. These services are much shorter and less formal than the 11 a.m. Solemn High Mass, yet possess a beautiful devotion and dignity all their own. The 8:00 a.m. Mass is held in the Lady Chapel (to the right of the High Altar) and is a simple, traditional Service with no hymns or sung portions. The text (like that of the 11a.m. ) is the Holy Eucharist according to Rite I. The 9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist is according to Rite II (contemporary language), and it is celebrated around a free-standing altar at the church crossing between the congregation and the choir chancel or at the High Altar with the congregation seated in the choir stalls. This liturgy offered by the clergy and people is modern and refined to the essentials of the Eucharist, but a sense of deep prayer and reverence is maintained here, as well. The 9:00 a.m. service includes hymns and musical parts of the liturgy, as well as occasional soloists or instrumentalists. One Sunday each month, the 9 a.m. service is a Family Eucharist, with opportunities for children to take active part in the liturgy.
The Nicene Creed is sung or recited at each of the Sunday morning services. As always at Christ Church, all baptized Christians are invited to receive Holy Communion.
From time to time the beautiful Anglican Office of Evensong is sung by the Choir on Sundays at 5:00 p.m. When Yale University is in session, Compline is sung by the choir on Sunday evenings at 9:00 p.m., with the church lit only by candles.
Christ Church offers weekday Masses at regular posted times. These Masses usually resemble the 8:00 a.m. Low Mass on Sundays (though they alternate between Rite I and Rite II language) and are held in the Lady Chapel. Through the daily offering of the Holy Eucharist, Christ Church continually shows forth the great acts of God in the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, through which, we believe, all creation has been made new. So, each day we bring our supplications and our thanksgiving before God as we offer ourselves to God's service and will, all in communion with the one great self-offering of Jesus, Our Lord.
Every day at Christ Church begins with prayer and reflection on the Psalms and Scriptures in the Service of Morning Prayer. Christ Church also celebrates the major and minor Feasts of the year, which are announced in the church newsletter and on this website.