Worship at St Mary Magdalene's
At St Mary Magdalene’s, liturgical worship is deliberately in the diverse tradition of Catholic Anglicanism. The principal service in our community is the Holy Eucharist, also called Mass or Holy Communion.
In the Eucharist (from the Greek εὐχάριστος, meaning "thankful") the Church, doing what Christ commanded the apostles to do at the Last Supper, makes present the sacrifice of Calvary. When the Church is gathered in worship, it is empowered by the Holy Spirit to make Christ present and to receive all the benefits of that sacrifice.
Our worship is enriched with symbolism, with coloured vestments reflecting the seasons of the church's year, incense, bells, and holy water, and the paintings and statues that decorate the church. These are symbols of God's presence within this holy place and with us, and they also communicate that presence through our senses.
The beauty with which we seek to clothe our worship is to the glory of God: it is not an end in itself, and much of our worship is simple and relatively unadorned, but no less reverent in spirit.
Sunday at 9 am
On Sundays the 9 am Mass is in a contemporary style, with a variety of music and chants from the Taizé and Iona communities. During the Communion we stand gathered around the altar; healing prayers are available after Communion.
Sunday at 10.30 am
At 10.30 am, traditional catholic ceremonies predominate. Mass is preceded by the Asperges (or in Easter time, Vidi Aquam), the sprinkling of water. The heightened ritual reminds us of the glory of the God we worship. A liturgical choir sings during the 10.30 service.
During the week
Weekday masses begin with the recitation of the Angelus (or in Easter Time, Regina Caeli), the traditional catholic devotion (often said at noon) commemorating the Incarnation. Mass on Thursday (12 noon Angelus, followed by Mass) is in the language of the Book of Common Prayer/English Missal.
On the major festivals of the Church's year, such as the Annunciation, St Peter, All Souls’ Day, and others, Solemn Mass with choir is offered at 6.15 pm. Some festivals are celebrated with special intentions, for example Corpus Christi (the Thursday after Trinity Sunday) as a day to celebrate, with priests and people from around the city, the presence of Christ in the Church, and also in the streets and squares; and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14 September or a nearby Sunday) to remind us of our call to confess Christ crucified. Special festivals are advertised on the Welcome page.
What to Expect
All services include the Scripture readings for the day, a sermon, brief homily, or time for reflection, prayers for the world and the Church, and Holy Communion – the sharing of the blessed bread and wine. The Sunday readings are printed in the weekly bulletin.
How will I know what to do?
If you are familiar with mainstream Anglican worship, you will recognise the service right away. The service generally has a lot in common with the eucharistic services of other mainline churches. If you're not familiar with this type of service, don't worry. There are outline orders of service available for all Masses, or a full printed order on special occasions.
St Mary Magdalene's and the Mission Hall are both accessible to people with disabilities, with step-free access through the Chapel on the north side of the Church, and the front door of the Mission Hall.
St Mary Magdalene's was built 130 years ago, in the time before indoor plumbing: toilet facilities are located in the Mission Hall.