As of the 1st of June 2004 Patrice Wallace was appointed the
Praise & Worship Leader for the Parish. She succeeds Charlene Rodgers who
gave up that post.
We offer Mrs. Wallace congratulations, best wishes and the assurance of our prayers as she assumes the leadership of this Ministry.
Holy Cross Praise & Worship Team - Our History
The Praise & Worship Team was formed through the wisdom of Canon Neil Roach on the 20th of November, 1985, to aid in ushering the people of God into His Presence.
The team ministers on Sunday morning in the Eucharistic worship service, and when called upon within and outside of the Parish. The ministry of worship births evangelism and the group endeavours to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through songs.
The team, which has grown to 18 members, was led by Philip Gray for 12 years, succeeded by Charlene Rodgers, and is now led by Patrice Wallace. Meetings are held on Saturday at 5 p.m. in study, meditation and ministering to build, strengthen, educate and transform the lives of its members for the work of God.
Worshipping Him with Excellence
After the production of “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” I was moved to write this article and truly express my desire to see us transform our worship to that of excellence--excellence being, no more than our best unto God.
We began the work of this production, birthing from Philip’s vision in January of this year, not fully comprehending what God wanted to do with us. However, the desire of those who made up the cast was one of eagerness and great expectancy that this could be nothing short of a great work.
The stage was set for a good report, not only because the vision was God-given, but also due to such a willingness of God’s children to release themselves of their own emotions/feelings, and pour themselves into the character of God. That is all God requires of us, willingness more than an emotion of how we feel. That is what praise and worship is all about, our willingness to present ourselves unto God in a vulnerable and desirable way, that He begins to inhabit that which we offer. He says in His word, that if we do not want to (desire to) praise Him, the stones will cry out in our place (Luke 19:28-40).
My brothers and sisters, we witnessed a form of worship in its purest sense. It was evident that God had enthroned the praises of His people (Ps 22:3). When we change our thinking to His ways, then we become witnesses of the manifested presence of God.
On Sunday morning as we step into this sanctuary of Holy Cross, we begin to recognize His awesome presence. As the organ starts and the hymn is announced, and we begin to sing: “Rejoice the Lord is King, your God and King adore, mortals give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore. Lift up your heart, lift up your voice, rejoice again, I say rejoice; our praise as a united body has begun, and from this point on, our act of thanksgiving unto God should take precedence over any and everything we think, say or do.
I encourage you then my family, to seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near (Is. 55:6). He desires to move in the praises of His people. He looks to receive your best offering, in order that He may perform far exceeding, abundantly, above all that we can ever ask of think (Eph. 3:20).
I charge you with the utmost sincerity of heart and with great humility, that you take your worship to the level that the Word of God instructs you to, and to offer the sacrifice of praise with your lips and with your heart. He said to praise Him in the dance, in the instruments, with thy breath (Ps. 150). Choose not to worship Him based on your character or feeling, choose to worship Him based on God’s mandate of worship for us.
With my hands lifted up, and my mouth filled with praise, I will bless the O Lord. In His Name!
References: Psalm 34:1; 42:1-6; 57:8; 66:8; 103:1; Is. 40:9; 55
Praise and Worship Part (1)
“The Eucharist the Pattern for Praise and Worship”
By: Philip Gray
In my extensive yet limited experience with corporate worship in many denominations, the Eucharist best demonstrates the biblical standard God has mandated to worship him.
What exactly do I mean by this? Simply put, the scriptures clearly tell us how we should gather together to enter his temple, commune with Him and ultimately experience His manifested presence. The Eucharist adheres and subscribes to the principles God has laid down for worship.
We will all agree that our God is a God of protocol (2nd Chron.7:1-8), precision (Ex.25:10-11) and perfection(1st Pt 1:16). Anything other than His specific instructions becomes His permissive will or sin. Throughout scripture God states His protocol whether it is for cleansing (Lev.8:1-10), repentance (Acts 26:20) Salvation (Acts 2:21) prayer (Math:6:14), stewardship( Prov.13:11) or the gifts of the spirit (1st. Cor.12). Our God is also the God of precision. When God asked Moses to instruct the people how to build the temple, He dictated the measurement and dimensions of every material to be used and orchestrated and how they should all come together for the perfect temple, which was a replica of the throne room of God. (See Ex: 26-chpt.27) We also know that God’s standard is Perfection, His word: “Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Lev.11:44).
With the same degree of protocol, precision and perfection God has laid down His requirements for those who desire to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Let us briefly look at the Eucharist and God requirements for worship and see how closely we follow His instructions.
Our first instruction is to “enter His Gates with thanking and into His courts with Praise” (Ps.100:4). A review of our sentence of the mass, “Blessed Lord and Father we have assembled in your Name… enable us by Your grace to offer the Sacrifice of Praise and Thanking…” We begin the Mass with His instructions to offer praise and thanksgiving followed by high praises, The Gloria In Excelsis…. “Glory to God in the highest…we worship you we give you thanks we praise you for your glory…”(Luke 2:14)
After the Ministry of the Word then there is the act of penitence. Cleansing and penance is God’s requirement for entrance into worship. We begin my saying, “ If we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves and the truth…God is faithful and just to cleanse from all unrighteousness (1st John 1:8). After Penance and the presentation of the Gifts, we begin the Eucharist, the act of worship and full communion with God. We begin “… Therefore we praise you joining our voices with angels and archangels and with the whole company of heaven… Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord…” (Is. 6:33). Have you ever stopped to examine these words based on the scripture in Revelations chapter 4. At this point we join worship in heaven with the twenty four elders who continuously cry before the throne of God Saying” Holy! Holy! Holy.”(Rev 4:8) The very same words we utter .WOW! If we ever capture the full magnitude of this it will catapult us into the presence of God.
Enough has been said to make the point of how well orchestrated the mass is and scripture base for the demands of God. God says so much more about praise and worship, some of which we adhere to in the Eucharist. God speaks extensively about postures for worship, the seven distinct acts of worship, spiritual warfare in worship, the manifested presence in worship, the gifts of the spirits during worship, worship propelling the prophetic gifts, and so much more that we will discuss individually through subsequent articles.
The form of “praise and worship” which has raise much discussion in the body of Christ has a clear mandate from the pages of God’s word. It only serves to augment and enhance the worship set out by the church with the same aim that when we would have left the temple we would say, “ It was good to be in the house of the Lord”