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People often gather together using rituals to celebrate and remember significant events in their lives and to share their stories. These gatherings include family events such as birthdays and anniversaries as well national holidays like Independence Day and Memorial Day. These days are celebrated in special ways with people who share a common history and values. 

We at St. Thomas Becket also gather as a parish community using the rituals of our tradition. We journey through different seasons retelling the stories of our faith. In community, we listen to the story of salvation revealed in sacred Scripture; homilies break open the Word, connecting the Scriptures to our daily lives. We receive communion under both forms, bread and wine, as Jesus taught us. Nourished by Christ's presence in both Word and Sacrament, we are sent forth to live Gospel values in our daily lives. 

In Baptism, the Church welcomes us into the Christian community and calls us by name. Here at St. Thomas Becket, we continue the tradition of welcoming everyone - parishioner and visitors - by name. Name tags allow each person to be known by name as we enter the worship space for Eucharist; to greet others by name before and after prayer; to be called by name during the Sign of Peace and when we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. This warmth of hospitality generates the high level of participation that expresses the spirit of St. Thomas Becket, a spirit marked by enthusiastic voices raised in song and in spoken prayer. 

Though we celebrate the same seasons each year, we as individuals are different people each year. So our rituals speak to us differently each time. Yet, we continue to use the same symbols that carry us more deeply into the mysteries of our faith: the Advent wreath, the Christmas tree, Nativity scene, the Cross, ashes, palm branches, the Easter candle, bread and wine, the colors of Advent blue, Lenten purple, Easter white, Christian and Pentecost red, and green for Ordinary Time. 

While our pastor or guest priests lead our community prayer, parishioners take an active part in all other liturgical roles, as musicians, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, ministers of hospitality and even as presider for Communion services. Because we believe in reverence for all human beings, we strive to use language in prayer that includes all of us, female and male. Our language broadens and enriches our vision of who God is. We welcome those members of our families and friends who are of a different faith, and we encourage them to participate with us in our prayer. 

Worship is central to our individual and community faith life. In worship, young and mature alike come to know God and each other in the sharing of the Word, in the breaking of the bread, and in the mission given to us by Jesus to build the kingdom here on earth.