Since the time of the Apostles, Christians have gathered on Sunday, the first day, for the weekly festival of Christ's Resurrection. Episcopalians are united in and by our worship. "Eucharist," which is a Greek word meaning Thanksgiving, is our term for our worship service that includes Holy Communion.
In the Holy Communion, we remember God's mighty acts in our past and tell again the story of our redemption by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We join together in praise and communion, acknowledging the spiritual presence of Christ in the gifts of the Bread and Wine. We are reminded of God's blessing, and when the Eucharist is done, we are sent out from this place to share love and peace with the world.
Our worship is built on the liturgy contained in the Book of Common Prayer (also known as the "prayer book" and the "BCP"). Liturgy literally means "the work of the people," and this is reflected in the active role we take in worship. We sing, we pray together, we read from the Scriptures, we listen to the sermon. We share bread and wine. We sit, stand, and kneel.
Every member of the Church has a proper function in the Eucharist. The lay ministers proclaim the word of God and direct the prayers; the clergy read from the Gospels, preach the sermon, take and bless the bread and wine, and give the sacrament to the faithful. The choir offers its music to express and heighten the gratitude of all who seek to worship God. Throughout the week, we are all busy in God's world. Gathered on Sunday, we give thanks and pray for the world in which we live and work.
We invite you to receive Holy Communion. The Bread will be placed in your outstretched palm; after you eat the Bread, you can sip the Wine from the chalice by taking the base of the chalice in your hand and guiding it to your lips. You may also keep the bread for the chalice bearer to dip in the wine. If you prefer to receive only the Bread or the Wine, or desire only a blessing, you may so indicate by crossing your arms over your chest at the appropriate time.
All baptized Christians, regardless of where they were baptized or where they may be worshiping now, are invited to receive the Holy Eucharist with us at any time.