Holy Cross believes that formation is for everyone, and during the program year we meet for formation each Sunday. We also offer a weekly Bible and book study on Wednesday mornings, and we offer a variety of evening programs throughout the year.
During the pandemic, most activities at the church have been suspended. Please take a look at the resources on this page to supplement your learning at home.
Check out the Children page for resources specifically for families.
Worship at Home
Hopefully you have been able to join your Holy Cross family in our new Sunday morning online worship. It is a lovely offering, but geared for an adult congregation. If you would also like to have a family worship experience that is geared to include children, Megan Hoskins recommends Worship at Home, a downloadable document by Mary Hawes. Worship at Home will guide you in setting up a simple family worship space and includes a do-it-yourself prayer service with links to songs and music. This is super user-friendly -- no seminary experience required! Find Worship at Home at http://www.
Adult Forum on Advent Resources
Advent Wreath Prayers
Advent Week 1:
The first candle is HOPE.
Eternal God, as we await the coming of our savior, give us the courage to hope. Give us grace to see your plans of redemption for our lives, for this community, and for the world. Through Jesus Christ, the source of our redemption and hope. Amen.
Advent Week 2:
The second candle is PEACE.
Almighty God, you offer rest for our hearts, and peace for our souls. Give us grace to seek peace in our lives, peace in this community, and peace in the world. Through Jesus Christ, the prince of peace. Amen.
Advent Week 3:
The third candle is JOY.
Gracious God, you came to us in human flesh and you abide with us in the Holy Spirit. Fill us with your joy, and help us shine as a light to the world. Through Jesus Christ, who makes our joy complete. Amen.
Advent Week 4:
The fourth candle is LOVE.
Loving God, your mercy and compassion endure forever. Open our hearts, that we may receive your love; and following the example of your Son, spread that love to a love-starved world. Through Jesus Christ, who loved us to the end. Amen.
Place a fifth candle as the CHRIST candle.
O God of hope, peace, joy, and love. As Mary and Joseph welcomed you into the world, now help us welcome you into our lives. Give us courage to hope; strength to seek peace. Fill our spirits with joy; and our hearts with love. Through Jesus Christ, the Lord of all. Amen.
Credit to Rev. Matthew Kozlowski.
Additional prayers and scripture for mid-week use
Almighty God, we give you thanks for surrounding us, as daylight fades, with the brightness of the vesper light. We pray that, as you enfold us with the radiance of this light, you will shine into our hearts the brightness of your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Grant us, Lord, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in us and shed its light on those around us, and that by its brightness we may have a vision of the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord God Almighty, dispel the darkness of our hearts, that by your brightness we may know you to be the true God and eternal light, living and reigning for ever and ever. Amen.
Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
O gracious light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of Life, and to be glorified through all the worlds. Amen.
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp to put it under a bucket, but on a lamp-stand where it gives light for everyone in the house. And you, like the lamp, must shed light among your fellow men. So that they may see the deed you do, and give glory to your Father in heaven.” The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
— Matthew 5:14-16
Here is a lovely and simple kid-and-adult-friendly nativity for any household. Just print it out, cut, color if you like, and you will have an easy and appealing reminder of the season.
Join a virtual walking pilgrimage created by St. Martin’s In-The-Fields Episcopal Church in Columbia, SC. Walk at your own pace, in your own neighborhood, but be transported to another time and place as you follow along with Jesus’ journey in the Gospel of Luke. As you take this journey, you will unlock milestones along the way to teach you about the landscape, place, scripture, and your own place in the story. When you register, you will receive a printed guidebook and access to a downloadable app to track your progress. The guidebook contains the itinerary including brief introductions for each city you will visit, mileages, scripture references to read along with, and questions you can meditate on as you walk. There is no cost for this program. Register at https://www.smifsc.com/advent-pilgrimage.
Blessing for the Christmas Tree
(Credit to Traci Smith)
God who created all things, bless this tree as we decorate it and make it a joyful symbol for our home. May its branches remind us of the shelter and shade you provide for us and for many creatures. May its trunk remind us of your strength. May its lights bring us peace.
May we remember your gift to us this season, the gift of the baby Jesus, Amen.
Music provides a beautiful way to connect to the stories of Advent. There are many offerings, both scared and secular, that can be a focus for worship and meditation, or just a background to your Advent days.
Spotify has a number of wonderful Advent playlists. A few for you to try are:
Advent 2020 by Josh Hosler, friend of Holy Cross
Advent with Sacred Ordinary Days by sacredordinary days
Advent: An “Art & Theology” Playlist by Victoria Emily Jones
Advent Worship by Heather Khym
Come, Emmanuel (Advent Playlist) by matthewjfish.
Christmas at Home
What Does This Season Mean?
Handout for Christmas at Home
By Jennifer McNally & Anna V. Ostenso Moore
To download this beautiful resource for households that supports the celebration of Christmas at home as a PDF, click here.
Epiphany at Home
What Does This Season Mean?
Handout for Epiphany at Home
By Jennifer McNally & Anna V. Ostenso Moore
To download this beautiful resource for households that supports the celebration of Epiphany at home as a PDF, click here.
Resources for Any Time
The Examen with Fr. James Martin S.J.
The examen is an ancient prayer practice that enables you to find God in your daily life. This podcast is based on a technique that St. Ignatius Loyola outlined in the "Spiritual Exercises," his classic manual for prayer. Each 18 minute episode, Fr. Martin provides a reflection and then guides you through the examen prayer. Listen at https://examen.libsyn.com
The Bible for Normal People
This weekly podcast, hosted by Pete Enns and Jared Byas, explores two questions: What is the Bible and what do we do with it? Pete and Jared are serious scholars of the Bible who also have a great sense of humor. They interview prominent theologians and explore tough issues, biblical interpretation, biblical history, and more. Listen at https://peteenns.com/
On Being with Krista Tippett
"Honest to God" lecture
Washington National Cathedral 11/12/2019
Michael Gerson of the Washington Post leads a conversation with Dr. Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project, and Dr. Jennifer Wiseman of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Both scientists and Christians, Dr. Collins and Dr. Wiseman share how their faith impacts their work as scientists and public figures and explore the intersection of faith, religion and science.
In the Cathedral’s "Honest to God" series, civic leaders share the ways in which their lives have been shaped by the practices of their faith and the interplay between religion and public leadership. Each event is an evening of conversation that invites public figures to pull back the curtain, revealing to us the faith that undergirds their public action. How have the values, teachings and worship of their faith community shaped their public works? What lessons might they draw for other public figures, or those aspiring to public leadership, about the importance of spirituality or religion? Through intimate conversation and the sharing of stories, participants courageously offer honesty, authenticity and faith at a time when our country is in dire need of such a generous gift.