Welcome to Your Cathedral Church!
Since its founding in 1839, Christ Church has lived every day into its mission “to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ through word and deed to the parish, the diocese and the downtown community.”
Whether you have already walked through our doors or are simply “church shopping” on the web, we are very glad to welcome you to this diverse and vibrant community of faith. If your questions are not answered here, please don’t hesitate to call 713-222-2593. We’d love to hear from you!
Who We Are
For over 170 years, a building has stood on the corner of Texas and Fannin bearing witness to the Episcopal Church in Houston. Christ Church Cathedral today occupies two blocks in the heart of Houston and houses a variety of outreach ministries, a bookstore, a restaurant, an art gallery, a Montessori-style school and the offices of the Bishop of Texas. Above all, however, we remain an active and growing community of Christians living out Christ’s call in the world. We welcome all people as we seek to fulfill our call to minister to each other, to our diocese and to our city. We invite you to learn more by browsing the pages of this website and by coming to Christ Church Cathedral to experience it for yourself.
We are located in downtown Houston on the corner of Fannin Street and Texas Avenue, at 1117 Texas Avenue. We are bordered to the north by Prairie Street and to the east by San Jacinto Street.
The parking garage is on San Jacinto Street, just north of Texas Avenue. The garage is open on Sundays and free for weekday Cathedral events with a validation sticker (available at your meeting or event). If coming east on Texas Avenue, take a left on San Jacinto and the garage will be on your right. When walking out of the garage, use the exit with elevators and cross San Jacinto Street. The Cathedral sanctuary itself is located on the far corner at Texas and Fannin.
On-street parking pay stations are enforced Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Be sure to read all posted signs carefully. Each pay station has a time limit (2–10 hours) posted.
What to Expect on a Sunday Visit
We want your first visit to our church to be a warm and welcoming experience, and one way to do that is to help you feel prepared:
We have five Sunday services, each lasting about an hour:
8 a.m. — Our early service takes place in the Cathedral and uses traditional language (Rite I). There is no music at this service.
9 a.m. — Family service, which includes worship bags for children, a Children’s Talk from the Dean, our Parish Choir and is conducted in contemporary language (Rite II).
11 a.m. — This beautiful service is conducted in traditional language (Rite I) and is accompanied by the magnificent voices of the Cathedral Choir under the direction of Robert Simpson.
1 p.m. — The afternoon Spanish-language service is a vibrant, joyful and growing worship experience with contemporary language (Rite II).
5 p.m. — Sunday evening service is called “The Well,” and it is a Celtic contemplative Eucharist. It takes place in the Cathedral. Drawing inspiration and music from the Celtic tradition, “The Well” focuses on prayer, silence, meditation, and grace.
What to Expect When You Get Inside
As you enter the main doors to the Cathedral building, an usher will hand you a worship leaflet. This booklet contains directions for what to do and page numbers for the Book of Common Prayer (red) and the Hymnal or song book (dark blue). Both books are available in the pews. If you aren’t sure what to do, don’t hesitate to ask a fellow worshipper or simply watch and follow others’ lead.
Where To Sit
You can sit anywhere that you feel comfortable. If it’s crowded, the ushers will help you find a seat. If you arrive once the service has begun, an usher will be happy to assist you to a seat.
Young children are welcome at all Sunday services. While it may not seem that they understand all aspects of worship, they do experience the rhythm and beauty of the building and the liturgy. Please consider taking advantage of the worship bags available from ushers at both the front and side entrances. Childcare is also available for ages 5 and under in the Jones Building during services. The Jones Building also houses The Lighthouse Classroom for children with special needs. For more information about our special needs ministry, please contact KariAnn Lessner.
How to Take Communion
All baptized Christians are welcome at the Lord’s Table. Come forward to the altar rail as the ushers direct you and take the next available place. You may kneel or stand. Receive the Communion Bread from the priest in your open right palm. You may choose to receive the Wine directly from the Chalice by gently guiding it to your lips as the Chalice Bearer presents it to you, or you may “intinct,” or dip, the wafer into the Wine. If you choose not to receive the Wine, simply cross your arms across your chest after you have received the wafer. You may then return to your pew following those around you. If it is physically difficult for you to come to the altar rail, please indicate this to an usher and a priest will bring Communion to you where you are seated.
Children Receiving Communion
Children are welcome at the Lord’s Table at their parents’ discretion. If you would like for your child to learn more about the sacrament, please contact KariAnn Lessner concerning the next Holy Communion Workshop.
Receiving a Blessing
If you, or your child(ren), would like to receive a blessing from a priest at the altar rail, come forward just as you would to receive Communion and cross your arms across your chest, and/or instruct your child(ren) to do the same.
Education Hour & Fellowship
Every Sunday at the Cathedral we set aside the 10 o’clock hour for education and fellowship. During the program year (September–May), you will find a variety of classes for adults, youth, children of all ages and children with special needs. Stop by the welcome table in Reynolds Hall or take a look at the bulletin boards for a full listing of class topics and locations. When classes are not in session, or on special occasions, step inside Reynolds Hall where you’ll find coffee, lemonade, snacks and plenty of great company.
We invite you to join in on our Sunday guided tour of the Cathedral, meeting at the rear of the church following the 11 o’clock service. You’ll learn some of the wonderful stories connected to this historic place. A shorter, clergy-led tour is also available on weekdays; meet at 12:35 p.m. by the fountain in the Bishop’s Courtyard following the 12:05 p.m. chapel service.
Group tours are available by appointment; call Judy Mood at 281-597-8463.
As our guest, we encourage you to ask questions and seek information. Please fill out a welcome card (found in the pew) and place it in the offering plate or hand it to an usher or clergy so that we can learn more about you. Be sure to stop by our welcome table in Reynolds Hall or, weather permitting, outside in the courtyard walkway between and following services. There you can pick up seasonal brochures and ask questions of our greeters. We also invite and encourage you to introduce yourself to our clergy and staff. We’ll be happy to meet you and welcome you to Christ Church Cathedral.