Belong – Visiting and Joining Our Congregation

Visiting and Joining Our Congregation



Welcome to Christ Church Cathedral. Whether you are “church shopping” or know you want to become a member of our community, we are glad to have you worship with us and join with us as we endeavor to live out the calling and mission of Jesus Christ. Below you will find commonly asked questions about visiting and joining our parish.


Please contact us if you want someone to contact you about becoming a member.


How do I join the community of Christ Church Cathedral?


You are a part of our parish community by worshiping with us. Worship is the central thing we do in the Episcopal Church. By giving us your contact information you are able to participate in all that our church offers, for example, Sunday school, adult educational offerings, fellowship opportunities, and other organized ways of living out our promises to God. You will also be invited to attend a new member class.


What does it mean to be a member of Christ Church Cathedral?


To become a member of Christ Church Cathedral makes you a full participant in the life of our church. Christ Church Cathedral members are expected to help the church carry out its mission to be faithful witnesses of Christ in our world. Members are expected to worship regularly and remain faithful in working, praying and giving toward growing the Kingdom of God. Pledge cards are accepted throughout the year and are an opportunity for your household to pray and determine what part of your money is to be given back to God. Pledges are important to the life of our parish so that we can make a budget for the coming year to fulfill the mission Jesus left to the church.


What do I do if I have a pastoral emergency?


Please let the church know by calling the office if you are experiencing a crisis in your life. We have clergy and laity who are trained ministers to meet the pastoral needs of all in our congregation.


What if I was raised in a different denomination?


We recognize that many of our visitors have a large range of prior experiences with the church. Many come from different denominations, perhaps different faiths, or may not have had much experience with church. All are welcome.


What is the worship service like and how long does it last?


Worship of God is the foundation of our community; it is beautiful, dignified and celebratory. Each Sunday we gather round a table with bread and wine to celebrate his risen presence among us. Our faith and practice are grounded in the words of our baptismal covenant.


Our beliefs are formed in our worship, and in working for social justice and peace. We are a diverse church, united in common prayer and in our commitment to “seek and serve Christ in all persons.” Sermons delve into scripture, ask hard questions and inspire commitment to helping those in need.


The Book of Common Prayer is an important part of Episcopal life and worship. Many are drawn to the Prayer Book’s ancient beauty which includes a wealth of prayers and liturgies for virtually every occasion. It serves as a way to center our lives in Christ. We gather week by week to hear the Word of God proclaimed, thanking God for the gifts in our lives, the wisdom we find in prayer and the help we find when troubled.


Since our founding, the people of Christ Church Cathedral have encountered the holiness, transcendence and glory of God through the gift of sacred music. Music is an integral part of the spiritual life and rhythm of our congregation, guiding and welcoming the people of God in the central actions of our liturgy and prayers.


Long noted for fine organ and choral music in the Anglican tradition, our music ministry contributes richly to the spiritual and cultural life of our cathedral community as we seek to be a House of Prayer for All People, a cathedral for our diocese, and a church in the heart of the city of Cincinnati.


Can I receive communion at worship?


The Episcopal Church practices an open communion. Whenever Communion is offered in our church, all baptized Christians, no matter the denomination, are welcome to receive both the bread and the wine.


How do I receive communion?


All baptized Christians, even small children, may receive communion. You may stand or kneel at the altar to receive communion. To receive the sacrament simply put your hands out one on top of the other, palms up, and a person will place a round host in your hands. You may receive the wine after by intinction (dipping the bread) in the wine or taking a sip of the wine. If you are not baptized, place your arms in a crossed position over your chest and the clergy will say a brief prayer of blessing on you. If your child is too young or not yet baptized, the clergy will say a brief prayer of blessing on them as well.


How do I become a Christian?


Baptism marks the beginning of a new life in Christ. Baptism is the entrance rite into any church, including Christ Church Cathedral. Baptism is the first step.


What if I am not baptized or I want my child baptized?


If you have never been baptized or if you wish to have your infant or child baptized, we do public baptisms at particular times throughout the year. Infants and young children are baptized on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is the first Sunday after the Epiphany which is on January 6. Adults and older children are baptized at the Easter Vigil. Baptism is open to all on the Feast of Pentecost and on All Saints Sunday. Those wishing to renew their baptism vows may do so at any of these four occasions. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or family members, contact Kathy Noe.


How do I move my membership record to Christ Church Cathedral from another parish?


If you have previously been a member of another church and would like to transfer your membership, contact Kathy Noe. You’ll be asked to provide some basic information about yourself so we can notify your previous parish.


What if I would like to be married at Christ Church Cathedral?


There is no greater sense of God’s goodness than when we find someone who loves us and whom we love. Marriage is a sacrament of the Episcopal Church. As a sacrament it is an extension of your Christian faith. The first step to getting married here is to call the office and make an appointment with a priest.


What should I know about funerals at Christ Church Cathedral?


Funerals are a celebration of the gift and hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Making plans in advance of your death is always a good idea. To do that, make an appointment with a priest. If someone should die in your family, please call the church immediately and a priest will talk with you.


What do Episcopalians believe? How is the church organized?


The Episcopal Church is the American province of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide body of over 70 million Christians who trace their origins to the Church of England. Episcopalians are thinking Christians who engage questions of faith with both seriousness and great joy.


Often, The Episcopal Church is called a “bridge church” between Roman Catholicism and Protestant denominations. This is because much Episcopal theology is Protestant in nature, while much of Episcopal worship, spiritual practice, and church structure resemble Catholicism. As a result, those from a variety of backgrounds will find in the Episcopal Church a home that honors their own faith tradition while providing a renewed source of spiritual nourishment.


This supports our belief that every person is a child of God, and created in God’s image. We live out that image in a Christian community that supports and nurtures one another. We do ministry within the church, including worship, youth and children’s programs, teaching, personal connections, intercessory prayer, retreats, spiritual counseling and hospitality.


Episcopalians describe a common heritage and commitment to the authority of scripture, tradition and reason, sometimes referred to as a “3-legged stool.” The first leg is Holy Scripture, which Episcopalians say is “written by people…inspired by the Holy Spirit” (from the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer). Our Old Testament chronicles the relationship between God and Israel. Our New Testament chronicles the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the faith journey of the first generation of disciples. The wisdom that Scripture provides guides our lives.


The second leg is Tradition. Tradition consists of the interpretation of God’s purposes by past generations of Christians, their faith and practices. Especially valued are the interpretations offered by early church leaders and councils.


The third leg is Reason. Episcopalians understand that human beings are created in God’s image, which includes gifting us with complex, reasoning minds. We honor God’s gift when we use our minds to think deeply about God’s will, consulting Scripture, Tradition and the myriad ways that God is revealed in the world around us.


This supports our belief that every person is a child of God, and created in God’s image. We live out that image in a Christian community that supports and nurtures one another. We do ministry within the church, including worship, youth and children’s programs, and teaching.


We also believe God calls us to ministry outside of our church. We engage in feeding programs and provide shelter, we take part in mission trips and provide support to those in need.


The ministers of the church are its people. Some are called into special “ordained” ministry such as bishops, priests and deacons, yet everyone participates in the work, ministry and governance of the church. The word “Episcopal” is derived from the Greek word for bishop. Thus, our very name means that The Episcopal Church is structured around bishops. Episcopal bishops, like bishops in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, trace their authority to the first-century apostles.


Each bishop oversees a geographic area called a diocese. Within a diocese are local congregations called parishes. A parish consists of a body of baptized Christians, often served by an ordained priest and deacon.


What is a Cathedral?


In the Episcopal Church, a cathedral is the central church of a diocese, the bishop’s church. Christ Church Cathedral is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio.


Does The Episcopal Church ordain women to be priests?


Yes. The General Convention of The Episcopal Church permitted the ordination of women in 1976. The first women were canonically ordained to the priesthood in 1977. The first female bishop, Barbara Harris, was consecrated in 1989. In 2006, Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected as the Church’s 26th presiding bishop, the church’s chief pastor.