Sunday Morning Worship

processionAt Christ Church, the liturgy that we participate in each Sunday morning is the central activity of our life together as a parish community. .Although some elements of the service vary somewhat depending on the church season, the service described here is typical of our 10:30 a.m. service and is very much like what you will find at Episcopal churches everywhere.

This service is known as Holy Communion, because in it we commune with God and also with each other as the Body of Christ. It is also known as Holy Eucharist, which is the Greek word meaning "Thanksgiving." In the Eucharist, we give thanks for what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.

The Eucharist brings both the past and the future together in the present as we remember Jesus' life, death, and resurrection and await his coming again.   The first half the service, "The Liturgy of the Word"  is based on Jewish worship, which preceded Christianity. Godís mighty acts in history are recalled through scripture and applied to our lives in the sermon. The second half of the service which follows the "Passing of the Peace," is "The Celebration of the Eucharist" also known as "The Great Thanksgiving."

The liturgy is not something that a priest does alone. It is something that the church, the assembled faith community, does together, entrusting the leadership role in the service to the priest. We prepare ourselves through prayer, we are strengthened and renewed by God's Holy Word, and we are nourished by God's Holy Sacrament. We are thereby empowered to go out into the world as ministers constituting the People of God.

 Please note that all are welcome to receive bread and wine in our communion service.

The service itself, from the Book of Common Prayer, is on the right, with notes about the service on the left.

 

The service begins with an opening hymn, the procession, and the opening acclamation. The opening hymn or the opening acclamation is a time for all the voices of the congregation to join as one to prepare to begin the work of the people together, so that by the time of the opening words of the service, we may respond as one gathered community

The Holy Eucharist Rite Two

The Word of God

A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.
The people standing, the Celebrant says

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

People And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

This prayer is known as the collect for purity. A collect is a particular form of prayer, which reveals some aspect of God or something God has done, asks for something specific and then closes with praise to God. The Celebrant may say
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our
hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may
perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
 

The service continues with a Song of Praise.

This song of praise is often The Gloria, which is at right. This song centers the service on the God we are gathered to praise in our worship. Gloria

 

 

When appointed, the following hymn or some other song of praise is sung or said, all standing

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

This collect is written to go along with both the season of the church year and the readings for the day. It summarizes the attributes of God as revealed in the scripture for the day.

The Collect of the Day

The Celebrant says to the people
The Lord be with you.

People And also with you.

Celebrant Let us pray.

The Celebrant says the Collect.

People Amen.

 

Reading and commenting on scripture goes back to the earliest times of Christianity. Using the pattern of Jewish synagogue worship, readings follow a set pattern for what will be read.  This is known as a lectionary.

 

Each week we read an Old Testament passage, followed by a Psalm and then a reading from a New Testament epistle, or letter.

The Lessons

The people sit. One or two Lessons, as appointed, are read,
the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ____________ .

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Reading, the Reader may say
The Word of the Lord.

People Thanks be to God.

or the Reader may say Here ends the Reading (Epistle).

Silence may follow.

 

The Gospel, since it is the record of what Jesus himself said and did, is always given the highest honoróthis is why we stand when it is read.

 

A Psalm, hymn, or anthem may follow each Reading.
Then, all standing, the Deacon or a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
according to ____________ .

People Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the Gospel, the Reader says

The Gospel of the Lord.

People Praise to you, Lord Christ.

 

The sermon brings the Word of God, recorded in the Scriptures, to bear on our own lives.  Having someone comment on the scriptures goes back to the earliest days of Christianity and to the Jewish Synagogue worship which preceded it.

The Sermon

sermon

Since the Sixth Century, the church has recited the Nicene Creed at the Eucharist. The word creed comes from the Latin credo for "I believe." The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Now we pray for ourselves and on behalf of others. The prayer book offers different forms for these prayers, but the Prayers of the People always contain these six elements: The Prayers of the People

Prayer is offered with intercession for

The Universal Church, its members, and its mission

The Nation and all in authority

The welfare of the world

The concerns of the local community

Those who suffer and those in any trouble

The departed (with commemoration of a saint when appropriate)

 

 

The Prayers of the People are followed by the confession of sin. The confession is a time to reflect on our own personal choices and decisions, to see where we have been wrong or at fault and to ask for God's forgiveness. 

Confession of Sin

The Deacon or Celebrant says
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Minister and People
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

In giving absolution, the Priest assures us that all who make sincere confession are forgiven by God. The Bishop when present, or the Priest, stands and says
Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins
through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all
goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in
eternal life. Amen.
Having confessed and been absolved of our sins, we demonstrate our love for one another by "Passing the Peace," a practice that dates back to the earliest days of the Church. Today we shake hands or hug. There are no set words to use in greeting each other, but "Peace," "God’s peace," and "Peace be with you" are all commonly used.


 

The Peace

All stand. The Celebrant says to the people
The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People And also with you.

Then the Ministers and People may greet one another in the
name of the Lord.passing the peace

 

After the Passing of the Peace, we begin the second half of the service, "The Celebration of the Eucharist." It is based on Jewish Fellowship meals, particularly the observance of the Passover.

 

The Holy Communion
This second half of the service begins with the offertory. Here we give back to God from the gifts God has given us. That is what is meant by the offertory sentence, "All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee."

 

Offertory

During the Offertory, a hymn may be sung.

Representatives of the congregation bring the people’s offerings of bread and wine, and money or other gifts, to the deacon or celebrant. The people stand while the offerings are presented and placed on the Altar.

Our offering is the first of four actions in the Eucharist. Just as scripture tells us that Jesus took, blessed, broke and gave the bread and wine. So this first of our four actions is for the priest to TAKE the bread and wine. The second action is to BLESS the bread and wine.  We call this the consecration. Then the priest performs the third action, BREAKING of the bread which we call the Fraction. The fourth action is to GIVE the bread and wine. This is a simple pattern that has been varied and elaborated on according to the Church's needs in history.

While the bread and wine remain the bread and wine, they are not unchanged, the significance of the bread and wine for those partaking of them changes radically. Though they remain ordinary bread and wine, the elements of communion become the outward signs of inward grace. That grace, or gift from God is Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist through the power of the Holy Spirit. The real presence of Christ is a full statement of our belief in God as a Trinity of persons.

 

 

 

consecration

The Great Thanksgiving

The people remain standing. The Celebrant, whether bishop or priest, faces them and sings or says

The Lord be with you.

People And also with you.

Celebrant Lift up your hearts.

People We lift them to the Lord.

Celebrant Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Then, facing the Holy Table, the Celebrant proceeds
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and every-where to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

Here a Proper Preface is sung or said on all Sundays, and on
other occasions as appointed.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and
Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever
sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Celebrant and People
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The people stand or kneel.

Then the Celebrant continues
Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us
for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become
subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus
Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human
nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the
God and Father of all. He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

At the following words concerning the bread, the Celebrant is to hold it or lay a hand upon it; and at the words concerning the cup, to hold or place a hand upon the cup and any other vessel containing wine to be consecrated.

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our
Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks
to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take,
eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the
remembrance of me."

This real presence is not the result of a magical incantation on the part of the priest. No set of words makes Eucharist happen. It is the whole action taken together that effects the Eucharist: the gathered community of faith remembering Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and calling on the Holy Spirit to transform the gifts of bread and wine into spiritual food and drink. It is God’s action that makes the Eucharist. After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given
thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you:
This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you
and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink
it, do this for the remembrance of me."

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Celebrant and People

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

The Celebrant continues

We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in
this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death,
resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.
Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the
Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new
and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully
receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy,
and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the
joy of your eternal kingdom.

All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. By him, and
with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor
and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

The Lord’s Prayer follows and may be either sung or said

The link between our daily bread and the spiritual food we receive in the Eucharist is an ancient connection. In the Lord’s Prayer we ask for daily bread meaning the things we need to get through each day. But as a part of that, the bread also symbolizes God’s presence, which is something that is also essential to our getting through the day.

At Christ Church, when the Lord's Prayer is sung, it is usually followed by singing Pu Nee Nah, an Eskimo translation of Bread for the World.

People and Celebrant

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Communion is taken by first receiving the bread by placing your right hand over your left and extending it to the priest. You may then either eat the bread at once and then partake of the wine, guiding the chalice to your lips, or you may hold the bread to dip it in the wine. Dipping the bread in the wine and consuming them together is called intinction. Anyone who does not wish to receive communion, may either wait in the pew, or come forward for a blessing. If you wish to come forward, but not to receive either one of the elements,  please cross your arms over your chest in an "X" as a silent request for a blessing.

During communion, Healing Prayers are offered at the back of the church. You may ask for prayers for yourself or on behalf of someone else.

Some of our communion is set aside each week to take to those who cannot come to church.  If you or someone you know would like to have communion brought to them, you can ask a priest to make arrangements.

The Breaking of the Bread

The Celebrant breaks the consecrated Bread.

A period of silence is kept.

Then may be sung or said
Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us;
Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

Facing the people, the Celebrant says the following Invitation
The Gifts of God for the People of God.
Take them in remembrance that Christ died for
you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith,
with thanksgiving.

The ministers receive the Sacrament in both kinds, and then immediately deliver it to the people.

The Bread and the Cup are given to the communicants with these words

The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven.
The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.

During the ministration of Communion, hymns, psalms, or anthems may be sung.

 

We participate in the Eucharist and are spiritually nourished, but it is not for our benefit alone. Communion strengthens us to return to the world with renewed vigor for proclaiming the Gospel in our words and in our lives. In the Eucharist, Christ’s presence both nourishes us and challenges us.

After Communion, the Celebrant says
Let us pray.

Celebrant and People
Eternal God, heavenly Father,
you have graciously accepted us as living members
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ,
and you have fed us with spiritual food
in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.
Send us now into the world in peace,
and grant us strength and courage
to love and serve you
with gladness and singleness of heart;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Special Prayers and announcements follow the blessing.  This is the time in our service when we pray for birthdays, anniversaries, travelers, and those with special needs.  It is also the time when we share information about the ministries and activities in the coming week. The Bishop when present, or the Priest, may bless the people.

 

As the celebration ends, we are charged to "Go in Peace to love and serve the Lord." The Eucharist is therefore not an exclusive gathering that separates us from the world, but a challenge to reach out beyond our own church to the world around us. Hymn as we process into the world

The Deacon, or the Celebrant, dismisses them with these words

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People Thanks be to God.

acolyte

musical instruments

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