Each Sunday, the clergy deliver a sermon/homily. These messages are based on the assigned readings for that Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year cycle of readings followed by Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics and others.
Who Can Receive Holy Communion?
Each Sunday service has two parts. The Service of the Word (readings, prayers, hymns, sermon, and so forth) and The Service of Communion. In these ways, we express our gratitude and praise to God and seek God’s gracious love for transformation and strength to live and serve.
As Robert Webber put it, “In worship we remember, proclaim, enact, and celebrate God saving deeds, glorifying God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit.” (Robert Webber and Twila Paris, In This Sanctuary: An Invitation to Worship the Savior), p. 146.
During worship, people walk forward to receive Holy Communion, bread and wine in which we affirm Christ’s mysterious but real presence. The font stands at or near the entrance because people enter the community through Holly Baptism. The altar stands at the other end because people of faith regularly experience Christ’s saving presence through the bread and wine.
You do not have to be Episcopal to participate in Holy Communion. If you are not accustomed to people walking forward in the middle of the service, it can create discomfort. “Should I go forward?”
Even if you do not feel comfortable receiving Communion, you can go forward and cross your arms, which tells the clergy to offer a prayer for you but not service you Communion.
You might be surprised that you feel pulled to participate in Communion, even if you are not a regular church person or you are of another denomination and have decided not to go forward. Our encouragement is to follow your heart. Receive Communion. If you awaken to Christ’s love for the first time, you can share this with the clergy and they will offer you guidance about following Christ.