Welcome, and hello!
Thank-you for coming to the website of Saint Matthew’s Parish. We are a member Parish of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States, a Diocese of the Anglican Catholic Church. Our Parish was founded in 1978, and has provided Anglo-Catholic worship, theology and spirituality to Hampton Roads since that time.
Currently, we offer Mass twice on Sundays; sung Mass, sometimes called High Mass, at 9:00 A.M., and said Mass, often called Low Mass, at 11:00 A.M. We offer elementary Sunday School at 9:00, and child care at 11:00. We also have a Service on Tuesday evenings, at 6:30. These Services rotate, so as to keep ourselves fresh, and to enjoy a greater variety of worship. Beginning with the first Tuesday of each month, we have the Holy Rosary. On the Tuesday evenings following, we have Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Sung Evensong (not an oxymoron, come and see, and sing with us), a monthly Parish Requiem Mass, and, if there is a fifth Tuesday in the given month, that Service will be Stations of the Cross. Every Wednesday, at ten minutes after Noon, we also offer the Mass. The full Kalendar may be found under the “Parish Kalendar” tab.
We believe in the light of the teaching of Jesus that two things are generally necessary for salvation: Baptism and the Sacrament of the Altar. Baptism is the washing-away of sin, both personal, and original. The Sacrament of the Altar is also referred to as Holy Communion, the Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper, among others, all meaning the same Service, centered on the Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus, the Christ.
To receive the Sacrament, you must be baptised and confirmed in a Catholic Church, or be baptised, and desirous of receiving Confirmation, into this Parish. We, as Anglican Catholics, accept the validity of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as the Anglican Province of Christ the King, the United Episcopal Church, and those Confirmed in the Episcopal Church, prior to A.D. 1976. If you fit into any of these groups, you may receive at our Altar rail, after having introduced yourself to Fr. Crowder.
We practice what is called closed communion ~ we do not offer Holy Communion to those who do not meet the requirements listed above. We do this not because we are better, much less holier, than any other Christian. We follow this ancient practice because we believe that as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament, so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily. Saint Paul suggests this: see I Corinthians 11:27-29.
Again, definition is required ~ one meaning of ‘unworthily’, in this context, is in ignorance, or in an uninformed state, as to the true nature of the Sacrament. We believe, as the Church has taught from the very first, that our Lord Jesus, the Christ, is truly, really present in the wafer, and in the wine ~ His Body, and His Blood. Some Christians have rejected this belief. Therefore, we cannot give the Sacrament to them, as they have rejected what Scripture teaches. For us to so would make us complicit in the endangerment of their very souls, as St. Paul taught us, and this we will not do.