For 2,000 years, Christians have been gathering to break bread in Jesus’ Name. Some call this ritual meal the Lord’s Supper. Others call it Mass. We call it Holy Communion. While this ritual is practiced differently according to many Christian traditions, Episcopalians celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday because it is the Christian Sabbath. Each Sunday is like a “little Easter” because Jesus was raised from the dead on Sunday.
Each Sunday, we gather for Eucharistic worship (eucharist means thanksgiving in Greek) at 9:00 AM. During worship, the gathered community sings and prays together. We hear the Word of God, listen to a sermon, greet one another in the Peace of Christ, bless those who are celebrating birthdays or wedding anniversaries, and share communion and fellowship. For the first half of worship that includes Scripture readings and the sermon, children gather with adult teachers for faith formation (see Godly Play link under Learning).
Holy Communion centers the life of the baptized. We eat a sacred meal in remembrance of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, and to be fed spiritually. On the night before Jesus was crucified, as He celebrated Passover with His friends, He instituted a new command of love. He asked His friends to continue the meal, saying “Do this in remembrance of me.” Each time we share this sacred meal, we believe that He is present. We call this the Real Presence of Christ.
We receive the Body of Christ in the form of a wafer (wheat based or gluten free) and the Blood of Christ in the form of wine from a common cup. Those who wish to receive bread or wine only may cross their arms across the shoulders to signal that they do not wish to receive the other form. Any who do not wish to receive Holy Communion are invited forward for a blessing. No one is obligated to receive Holy Communion, and all are welcome to participate in worship to the degree that they feel comfortable.
After worship, all are invited to share refreshment and fellowship together.