I'm glad to see that you are continuing your tour. There is much more to see.
We're standing in the narthex (you might call it the vestibule) of the church. This is where members of our parish gather before and after Mass to share Christian hospitality. Members of our parish are usually there before Mass to greet you. And our priests and deacons are usually in the Narthex after Mass should you need to speak with them.
To the right, as you walk in, are the doors leading to our Day Chapel where weekday Masses are celebrated. The Day Chapel also provides extra seating for weekend Masses..
To the right of the doors is our shrine to Saint Jude, the patron saint of our parish.
The statue in our shrine is from our old church and the candles that burn before the statue are lit as a prayer is said to our patron.
Saint Jude was one of the twelve apostles that Jesus chose to carry on his mission of building up the kingdom of God. Saint Jude is the patron saint of the impossible.
If you would like to make a visit to the Saint Jude page on our parish website, where prayers to Saint Jude and more information about Saint Jude is located, click the picture of the Saint Jude Shrine. (After you have finished your stop on Saint Jude's page, click the "back arrow" on your browser to return to this page.)Near the main entrance doors you will find our Information Desk. The desk is manned before and after each weekend Mass by members of our staff or other trained volunteers.
Here you can get answers to your questions and/or get a referral to someone who can assist you.
Across from the desk is a visitor's book where visitors to our parish are invited to sign-in and leave a comment about your experience at St. Jude's.
As you walk to the left you'll see an information kiosk and a sign board. The kiosk has all sorts of informtion about various ministries and upcoming events.
The sign board will tell you what is taking place this weekend, and in particular, keep you posted on activities in the west narthex.
It's always a good idea to check the sign board when you come into church so that you don't miss out on anything. There is also a sign board in the west narthex for people entering from the west parking lot.
Further to the left is the main portion of the narthex. It is very common to see this area filled with people both before and after Mass. It's where we can meet with fellow parishoners whom we haven't seen during the week and share the stories of what has been happening in their lives and ours. It's a busy place but it's also a welcoming place.
The narthex is also a convenient space for parents to use when the "children's room" is full or when the space in the room is too confining.
All of the scripture readings, prayers, and singing can be heard though the excellent speaker system in the narthex. The narthex is also separated from the main worship space by large interior windows so that parents both see and hear what is taking place during the Mass. This allows them to participate as fully as possible while they are in the narthex.
Continuing through the main narthex you enter a corrider leading to the west narthex, where you will find the men's and women's washroom, a drinking fountain, the Bride's Room, the kitchenette area and an exit to the West parking lot.
On the right is the Priest and Deacon Vesting Sacristy. This is a place for quiet and prayer to help them in their immediate preparations for ministry.
Just beyond is the Acolyte Vesting Room which is used by the altar servers and other liturgical ministers as they 'sign in' for their ministry, vest for their ministry and look for notes about the particular celebration.
Here we are in what's called the west narthex. This is where most of our fundraising takes place such as selling: "stock certificates" to support mission trips, fair trade coffee and candy, advent wreaths, our choir's music CD, "manna" gift cards and much more.
In addition we have a kitchenette and this is where we host some coffee and donut Sundays and other social activities.
This is the corridor leading from the west narthex to the parish office. Hanging on the left-hand wall are pictures of our priests and deacons.
Also on the left side are the washrooms for men and women as well as a drinking fountain.
On the right hand wall you will notice two stained glass windows.
These two stained glass windows located in the corridor leading to our parish office were made by one of our parishioners. They had been located over the two side doors to our old church.
They are now backlit so that you can see their beauty.
Many treasured objects from our old church were moved to the new church so they could still be enjoyed.
Before we leave the west narthex I thought you might enjoy a peek into the bride's room.
This room is beautifully decorated and offers the bride and her attendants a comfortable room for preparations before the wedding.
It has good lighting and plenty of mirrors.
Time to return to the main narthex so that we can enter into the main worship area of our church.
Just click on the doorway to continue the tour.