Parish Traditions

Founded in 1954, yet worshiping in a gorgeous Victorian Gothic building dedicated in 1905, Holy Cross Episcopal Church is a community steeped in tradition. We worship with the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and maintain ancient Christian rituals and rites. A parish in the Episcopal Church and worldwide Anglican Communion, our services offer the very best that English-speaking Christianity has to offer.

Soup Days And The Fall Festival

Holy Cross women have from the beginning been active in caring for the church and the community. Perhaps our oldest traditions at Holy Cross are those of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW). Soup Days and the Fall Festival provide funds for the ministries our women support in the communities of Bossier City and Shreveport. People from all around look forward to Soup Days on the Wednesdays of Advent and Lent, and the warm fellowship in our Undercroft has become the venue for reunions between those who come for lunch and the people of Holy Cross, who welcome them. Homemade beef vegetable soup, crackers, homemade dessert and coffee - what can be better on a cold day in December or February or March?

The ECW's Fall Festival each November has grown out of the women's original fundraiser, the church bazaar. The Undercroft is turned into a shop for nice gifts and, again, a place for a hot bowl of soup, a good dessert and some fellowship. Funds from the Festival and Soup Days make possible the ECW's own support of ministries in our community, as well as replacing old furnishings in the church when needed.

First Sunday: The Continuing Feast

No one remembers when the Continuing Feast began. But everyone is sure glad it did! On the first Sunday of each month, we gather in the Undercroft for a pot luck lunch after the 11:00 service. Of course, everyone knows that the dishes that appear for pot luck are the very best from each kitchen. And there's hardly ever a shortage of food or good conversation.

As important as the meal is the table fellowship, a time for the people of Holy Cross to come together and welcome Visitors, visit, find out what's going on in each home and life, and care for one another. Most months, we are joined also by some of our homeless neighbors, and we take this chance to get to know them better.

The Greening Of The Church

Decorating the Church for Christmas is another old tradition here. On the Fourth Sunday of Advent each year, we stay after the 11:00 service and hang Christmas greens in the Church, Chapel and Narthex, and lay magnolia leaves, fir and red berries on the Altar.

The finishing touches are the red altar flowers and arrangements in the Crossing, which arrive just before Christmas. And of course, the centerpieces are the High Altar and the Nativity Scene, placed just in front of the Chancel.

The Greening of the Church is a time for fellowship as well as enhancing the beauty of our church for Christmas celebrations.

Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday)

The night before Ash Wednesday marks the end of Epiphany. Traditionally, this is a night of celebration before Lent, a season of fasting: Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in Louisiana and other parts of the world. The people of Holy Cross have for decades gathered for a meal together. We come to the Undercroft for gumbo or red beans and rice or other fares traditional not necessarily to Shrove Tuesday but to Louisiana. People from all over Shreveport come down to the Undercroft to beat the chill of an ending winter with a warm bowl of something delicious. It's a good time to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. And it's the last chance to live it up before the 40 days of Lent begin.

The Easter Egg Hunt

We all look forward to the children's egg hunt on Easter Morning! Older children hide the eggs and then help the little ones learn the skill of hunting them. And the rest of us? Well, we just sit around and enjoy the fun - which includes seeing the pretty clothes and Easter baskets the children arrive with!

The Pentecost Picnic

The Feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Church, marks for us the end of the Easter Season and the beginning of summer. The weather is not too hot yet, so we picnic outside on the Holy Cross grounds after the 11:00 service. Our Holy Cross Grillers turn out bratwurst and accompaniments. We "wear red", and the tables are covered in red. It's a great time of fellowship as we begin the summer of vacations and traveling.

Oktoberfest

Each year in October we bid the summer heat goodbye and crank up the grills for Oktoberfest. This is an event that everyone looks forward to. It's a time of fellowship, food, cold beers, and fun for all ages! Who doesn't like a hotdog? Parish treasurer and master griller Monty Walford, along with a cadre of the parish men can be found huddling around the grill making sure everyone has enough food and beverages to while away the afternoon.

St. Francis Day Animal Blessings

On October 4 each year we celebrate the feast of St. Francis, patron saint of animals. We do this by inviting all the animals cared for by parishioners or anyone in the Shreveport area to come down and receive a blessing from the priest. It's a good time for everyone involved, and it's one way to show how God is involved and even interested in ALL of our lives, even our pets!