A guide to worship at St. George’s
The Center Of Our Worshipping Community – Eucharist
The table of Jesus Christ [the service of Holy Communion] is at the center of our community, and of our liturgy or worship services. Everything flows toward and from that central event, not only in the service but in all our life. The word “eucharist” means “thanksgiving,” but it’s difficult to be thankful when you are confused by what is taking place: Where do I go? What do I do? Do I sit, stand, or kneel? So we thought we’d offer some thoughts and suggestions about how we worship together in this community of faith.
First Things First
When you enter the curch buiding, you’ll meet people looking to help you. Some people will greet you. Others will offer you a worship folder which contains the service we will use for the day. These helpers will answer your questions and try to address any special needs that you mention.. Once you have what you need, you can head for any seat you like. There is no “assigned seating” (except for the leaders or special particpants in the service).
Singing The Songs
“Those who sing pray twice.”– Augustine
Music is an essential part of worship. It can create a space for God to meet us, lift our spirits, and take us to places of prayer unattainable with words alone. Truly, Augustine was right. In worship, Episcopalians sing. These songs are in your worship folder containing the service we will use for the day.
What’s The Deal? Stand, Sit, Or Kneel?
There’s a lot of movement in the service: sitting, standing, kneeling, along with occassionally moving to various places. How and where we move is our acting out the different parts of the liturgy. Directions for what to do when are in the bulletin. Worship leaders also will provide prompts, and you can follow your neighbor, as well. But don’t worry about having to get it all right. If your ability to move is limited, don’t worry about that, either. What’s most important, always, is that you are here in worship.
Welcome To Holy Communion
St George’s welcomes all baptized Christians to the table of Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness, strength, and new life in Holy Communion. Children may begin receiving Holy Communion at any time. Parents should plan to talk with the priest before a child’s first time at Holy Communion; by working together, we can make this important experience as smooth, understandable, and meaningful as possible. You also may speak with the priest before the service if you have any questions about whether (or how) to receive Holy Communion.
How To Receive Communion
At St. George’s, Holy Communion is done by intinction. This means that you receive the bread in your hand and then dip it into the wine. When receiving the bread at Holy Communion, rest one hand in the other with both palms facing up. Be sure to hold on to the bread! Receive the wine by briefly dipping the bread into the wine. Then, consume the bread.
After receiving the bread and the wine, it is appropriate to say “Amen.” This is a way of saying “Yes. Let it be so for me.” It’s a way of inviting and recognizing God’s work in your life.
After receiving the bread and the wine, you may return to your seat.
Children not yet receiving Holy Communion, or others who do not wish to do so, are invited to come forward during Holy Communion to receive a blessing. Indicate the desire to receive a blessing by crossing your arms over your chest before the bread and wine is offered.
Time to Go
After being nourished and refreshed in Jesus Christ and the Word of Promise for our new life, we are sent out from worship to share God’s promise and be God’s servant community in the world.
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