“When Christians gather together for worship, we unite ourselves with others to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God’s Word, to offer prayer, and to celebrate the sacraments.”
-The Book of Common Prayer
In describing Christian community, St. Paul used the image of a body to remind us that we each have a purpose, our diversity is a strength, and all parts are important. In worship, we give thanks and celebrate the reality that through the grace of Jesus Christ, we are one body, one spirit, one people. In our worship, we work toward fulfilling the mission of the Church to be at unity with God and each other in Christ. We are reminded that we are all cherished by God. The love of Christ strengthens us so we may extend God’s unconditional love to all people, working for the restoration of unity in the whole of creation.
When you enter the Church to attend one of our worship services, a host or usher will hand you a Service Leaflet to serve as a guide for your worship experience. Taken directly from The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, all of the words of the service will be provided in the Service Leaflet, and words spoken by the congregation will be listed in bold print. Hymns and other sung music will either be printed in the Service Leaflet or will be listed by page number to refer you to the blue Hymnal located in your pew. Those gathered for worship all share in the creation of that experience, with each person adding his or her own voice. All are invited to sing out on the hymns and speak boldly during the parts said by the congregation.
Receiving Communion at the Holy Eucharist
At the Last Supper, Jesus gathered with his friends for a sacred meal where he blessed bread and wine, and shared it saying, “Do this in remembrance of me.” In the celebration of the Eucharist, we gather around a common table, participate in Christ’s heavenly banquet, and are spiritually nourished by the consecrated bread and wine.
At St. Paul’s, all are welcome to receive communion, including children and even infants. When receiving communion you are invited to place one palm over the other so that the consecrated bread may be placed in your hands. After eating the bread, you are invited to guide the chalice to your lips so that you may drink consecrated wine from the common cup. Some may prefer to “intinct” by dipping the bread into the wine rather than drinking from the common cup. Either practice is welcomed in our Church. A full communion may be made by receiving in one kind, consuming either the bread or the wine. Those who do not wish to receive the bread and wine are still invited to come forward to receive a blessing and are asked to place their arms across their chest as a signal to the priest.