Worship and What to Expect

There are places where we bow to show reverence for Christ, and places where we kneel to humble ourselves before God.  There are times we cross ourselves as a way of using our entire bodies to worship and remember Christ's sacrifice. And we read ancient creeds and prayers together aloud to affirm our faith.  The best way to learn this is to sit toward the back so you can watch people in front of you and follow along.  You will notice that no two people do the same thing!  So there is no “wrong” way.

Trust us, many people find this a bit intimidating at first, but later fall in love with the reverence of our ancient worship.

 

Communion

Communion holds a deep and varied meaning for us in the Episcopal Church.  It contains the mystery of what Christ did when he died on the cross for the sins of the world.  Any baptized person can come to the rail and receive communion. The appropriate age of a child taking communion is left up to the parents' discretion.  If you haven't yet been baptized, you can come to the rail, stand or kneel, cross your arms over your chest, and receive a prayer of blessing.

We follow a directed Communion, where greeters will guide you when it is time for you to approach the Communion rail. You may stand in the front area where there is no rail or kneel at the sides. We use a common cup and partake of actual wine, just as Jesus did.

Bread of Heaven, Body of Christ
Hold out your hands cupped together like a bowl. A clergy person will come by first and give you bread that is the body of Christ. You can eat it right away or you can wait to dip it in the wine and then take it.

Blood of Christ, Cup of our Salvation
Then a person will come by with the Chalice. This is a little intimidating if you aren't used to it, but very beautiful. You can:

Gently hold the cup, and with the server, guide it up to your lips and take a small sip of the wine. Or if you held onto the bread, you may dip it into the wine and then eat it.  Many who were raised in the Roman Catholic tradition choose to hand the wafer to the cup-bearer, and he or she will dip it in the wine and gently place it on your tongue.