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We use the Roman Rite, which is the most widespread rite in the Western Church, with minor adaptations appropriate for our Communion, but consistent with the liturgical tradition of the Church.
Be comfortable! There is no dress code — casual clothing is fine. We have some who wear shorts and t-shirts in the summer when they are coming in some enjoying outdoor activities. Others dress up a bit more, but it usually reflects where they’ve been or where they are planning to go after Mass.
We do use incense from time to time — not every week, but on major holy days such as the Easter Vigil, Midnight Mass at Christmas, and other special feasts.
We are a small community, but we enjoy the services of a very gifted pianist and a couple of cantors. Our music style varies from traditional hymnody to more contemporary worship songs. In the same Mass, you may hear Marty Haugen’s “Gather Us In” as the opening song and “Salve Regina”, sung in Latin, to close the liturgy.
Yes! As an ecumenical communion, we recognize the fundamental unity of all Christians through Baptism. We recognize that the sacraments are not rewards for any human achievement or accomplishment, but are divine gifts of grace. All the baptized are welcome to receive and to celebrate the sacramental life in our communities.
Absolutely! In the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, women are encouraged to respond to a genuine vocation and to participate in all forms of ministry, lay or ordained. As St. Paul writes, "there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."
See our reference to coequal ministry.
See also "A Pastoral Letter on the Ordination of Women in the Church" by Bishop Joachim Vobbe of the German Old Catholic Church.
Yes. The entire Ecumenical Catholic Communion is an open and affirming body recognizing the value and dignity of every person in our God-given diversity. We promote the education and development of the People of God in their understanding of the diversity of sexual identity and orientation among their brothers and sisters.
All sexual relationships are to be guided by the Christian moral principals of love and fidelity. We uphold the ideal of committed relationships blessed by the sacred rites of the church. We believe that all questions of sexual morality are best addressed through pastoral care and counsel.
See "Pastoral Letter on Human Sexuality: The Sacred Body" by ECC Bishop Peter E. Hickman
Within the Catholic Church, there are several communions, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Polish National Catholic Church, and the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht, among others
These churches all have “valid” Holy Orders (Roman terminology) and could be described as Vatican II spoke of the Eastern churches in the “Decree on Ecumenism” (Unitatis Redintegratio 15, 1964) : “These Churches, although separated from us, possess true sacraments, above all by apostolic succession, the priesthood, and the Eucharist, whereby they are linked with us in closest intimacy.”
We are an “Old Catholic heritage” communion, in that our apostolic succession comes through the Old Catholics, and we embrace Old Catholic ecclesiology. For the past several years, we have had ECC members participate in the summer school program “Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context” at the Old Catholic seminary in Utrecht. However, we are not in an official relationship with the Union of Utrecht.
It is important to note that there are no churches in the United States who are part of the Union of Utrecht, even though some use “Old Catholic” in their name. The one church with a formal relationship with Utrecht is The Episcopal Church. As part of the Anglican Communion, they have been in full communion with the Old Catholics since the signing of the Bonn Agreement in 1931.
No, we have no formal relationship with The Episcopal Church (TEC), though the ECC is in some ecumenical conversation with (TEC). Many of our parishes have good relationships with TEC at the local level, and San Damiano has shared worship space and ministries with St. Michael’s Episcopal Church since January 2007.