As you enter, you will notice an atmosphere of reverence. Scripture makes clear that worship is God drawing us into His presence by His grace, into His throne room. That is first played out in the quiet, prayerful way we enter the church building. We enter God's house, God's throne room. Inside, the placement of the Holy Table is central to our focus. On the right side as you look forward is a lectern on which the Bible is placed. From here the Lessons for the day are read. On the left side is the pulpit, from which the sermon is preached.
Our worship is active and congregational. We use the Book of Common Prayer, which enables the parish to fully share and participate in each service. Some people find themselves uncomfortable in a liturgical service, but there is no need to feel that way! The word liturgy simply means form or work. It means the form by which we worship God. A simple rule in our liturgical service is that we stand to sing. We stand to affirm our faith (the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, for example), and we stand to be exhorted (when you hear the words "Dearly beloved..."). We sit to hear instruction. So we sit during the Lessons from the Bible, and also during the sermon. We kneel when praying, as a sign of both humility and thanksgiving in speaking to the King, our Father. Some people have physical difficulty kneeling, and they should be comfortable sitting, though we ask that they sit forward to allow for those kneeling behind them. The clergy, choir, and lay assistants may process (that is, proceed) into the service. This symbolizes us going into God's throne room. They will also recess (that is, return) at the end of the service, symbolizing the Church going out into God's world.
The Sunday morning services at Church of the Holy Communion are Holy Communion at 9:00 a.m. and then Morning Prayer at 11:15 am. Some portions of the Communion are sung and accompanied by music. Holy Communion is the principal service of the church.
Morning Prayer was intended as the daily service of the church, and is structured to take the worshiper through three phases: From SIN to GRACE, and then to FAITH. Don't worry about finding your place in the service. The service bulletin tells you the page number for each important step of the service, and most likely a friendly member of Church of the Holy Communion will help guide you through the Book of Common Prayer.
It is customary before the service to enter quietly, to kneel or sit, and pray for God's blessing and grace in the coming service. Because of our view of worship, we try to hold our talking until leaving the nave (main part of the sanctuary), remembering it as the throne room of the King. After the service, time is given for prayer and meditation, and afterward we may have a time of refreshment and lively conversation. We hope you will participate and allow us to get to know you.
Because biblical worship enables the believer to enter God's throne room, courtly attire is required. Thus, the participants in the service wear vestments as a sign of their service to the King of kings and Lord of lords. The clergy wear vestments befitting their office. The minister may wear a black robe, called a cassock, covered by a shorter white gown called a surplice. He also wears a stole in the color of the ecclesiastical year. These symbolize the yoke of Christ. Some clergy prefer to wear a simple black academic gown, emphasizing the teaching office of the minister. Some clergy may also wear their academic hoods. Finally, the Holy Table, the pulpit, and lectern will have beautiful cloth draped over them in the color of the season. This not only follows the pattern of the wider Church, but also adorns the building for the presence of the King of kings.
People in our parish are ready and happy to help you. Our ushers will greet you, answer your questions, and help with your needs. Following the service, the Bishop greets the people, and will want to get to know you.
When you visit our parish, you are our honored and welcome guest. You will not be singled out to stand up, or be made to feel awkward in any way. We are happy by the honor of your presence as we worship the Almighty God. Should you wish to know more about the Church of the Holy Communion, or how to become a member, the Bishop will be happy to help you with your questions. We also have a literature package with informative pamphlets about the life and practice of the Reformed Episcopal Church. Feel free to contact us if you would like to receive an information package via US Mail. Thank you for your interest and please contact us today!
Membership forms are available from the parish office. We are especially happy to help you with these details. Call 972-248-6505 to request more information about becoming a member.