Ten o’clock Sunday mornings is the crown jewel of life at St. Francis. Although there are countless entry points into the parish family life, this is where it all “comes together,” like the hub of a wheel. In this hub the spokes hold together and find strength to move forward.
Whether one begins their journey at the “hub” or finds it through a “spoke,” knowing one’s way around Sunday morning is helpful in maximizing the experience. What follows is a snapshot of the elements and flow of the gathering of God’s people on the “Lord’s Day."
Eucharist Service.Then at 10:00 AM the Eucharist begins!
A musical prelude usually sets a mood for worship and focus on God for a couple of minutes before the service begins. At ten the congregation stands to sing an opening song as the choir and altar party process into the church. Then begins the first part of our liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer.
Ministry of the Word. This first portion, called the Ministry of the Word, includes words of adoration, song, readings from Scripture, an engaging sermon, the proclamation of a Christian Creed, community prayers, and a confession to God of our sin and failures.
Early in the Ministry of the Word children ages four years old through elementary age are dismissed to the Parish Hall for a Children’s Chapel where they engage the Christian faith at their own level. The children return to the assembly after the Ministry of the Word in order to participate in the meal of the People of God: the Holy Eucharist (“Eucharist” means “thanksgiving’). That is just where we have come to in our description of the Sunday morning experience! So, let’s take a look at that element.
The Peace. Following the exchange of the “Peace” of Christ (greetings) and a few pertinent announcements, we have the opportunity for financial giving in the collection of an offering
(no pressure, no expectations, no one’s watching you) as a part of our worship and thanksgiving to God.
The Eucharistic Prayer is then said by the priest. This prayer briefly covers the ways in which God has unfolded his plan to begin to right the world, especially through his one and only Son, Jesus, the Messiah.
Communion. When the prayer is concluded we begin to give out the consecrated (blessed) bread and wine to all who would like to participate, at the altar rail. Reception of the consecrated bread and wine is available to all who have been baptized as Christians. Even if you, or your children, have not been baptized you may still come to the altar rail to receive a blessing from the priest. There is a “signal” for indicating you just want a blessing, and that is to cross your arms across your chest when the priest comes to you at the altar rail.
How does Communion work? Regarding receiving the bread wafer and the wine, we have two options for the wine: to either take a sip directly from the chalice after consuming the bread, or take the wafer to a chalice of wine set aside near the altar rail and dip the bread into the wine there.
Following the receiving of communion, we say a “thank you” prayer to God, the priest pronounces a blessing over the congregation, a final song is sung and the congregation is dismissed.
After the service, there is a refreshment cart set up outside the church and all are encouraged to stick around and connect with some of the fabulous people of St. Francis.
It is as simple as that!
“Historic Christian worship for today’s world.”