Christ Church offers daily, weekly, and seasonal opportunities for worship:
Holy Communion (Eucharist):
12:00 pm - Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - Holy Eucharist with Prayers for Healing.
6:30 pm - X Church (X Church is on hiatus until fall.)
|Saturday evenings||5:30 pm - St. Ignatius Chapel (Demere Rd.) - Rite II|
|Sunday mornings||8:00 am – Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - 1928 BCP|
9:15 am – Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - This is generally a Rite II service, however Rite I is used on special occasions and Holy Days.
9:15 am - Christ Church Parish House (Frederica Rd.) - Worship in the bright and spacious Great Hall of the Parish House. (This service is on summer hiatus and will begin again in the fall.)
9:15 am - Kidurgy at Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - Our Liturgy of the Word for young children.
|11:15 am – Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - Rite I. The first Sunday of each month is a Choral Morning Prayer.|
Communion in the Episcopal Church
Communion (also known as the Eucharist or The Lord’s Supper) is one of the two main sacraments in the church, baptism being the primary sacrament. What is a sacrament, you ask? Sacraments are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace. They are things we can touch, see, taste, hear – things we can experience, that convey the presence and participation of the Holy. It is through the sacraments that we receive God’s grace. Grace is God’s favor towards us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills. Sacraments are an important part of our faith life.
Communion is our prayerful remembrance and reenactment of our Lord’s last supper with his disciples when he took break and wine, gave thanks, and shared it with his beloved friends. He told them to do it to remember him, and the church has long done it when we gather together. It puts us in mind of his death and resurrection and the great gift that is offered through Christ’s sacrifice for the world.
It has long been the norm for Anglican Christians to celebrate communion when we gather together. We call it The Great Thanksgiving, as it represents to us our giving of ourselves to God in Thanksgiving for what God has given us. We offer the first fruits of our human, broken lives, and God gives us back a measure of God’s perfect grace through the mystery of the Holy Spirit.
How do I receive Communion at Christ Church?
At Christ Church, all who seek Christ or a deeper knowledge of him are welcome to receive communion. After the communion prayer, which ends with the Lord’s Prayer, an usher will invite you to come towards the altar to receive communion. Typically we fill the altar rail from right to left as people get up and return to their pews. It is appropriate to kneel at the altar rail or to stand behind it to receive. In our tradition we use round wafers for bread and real wine.
To receive the bread wafer, people typically hold out their hands, one on top of the other, palms up, to receive the bread. The priest will place the bread in your hand with one of the sentences appropriate to the service, after which it is customary to say, Amen. At that time you may eat the bread, or you may hold onto the bread to dip it into the wine. If you prefer the priest to place the wafer into your mouth, do not put your hands out at all, but simple open your mouth, and the priest will place the wafer on your tongue.
When the chalice bearer comes to you with the wine, it is best to assist the person with the wine by guiding the chalice to your lips while you take a sip of the wine. If you have kept your bread and would like to dip it into the wine instead, make sure the bread is visible, and the chalice bearer will make sure you can dip into the wine. If you are dipping, it is most helpful if you dip carefully, avoiding getting your fingers into the wine. After dipping you would eat the bread at that point. If you would like the chalice bearer to dip the wafer and place it on your tongue, hold your wafer up on your turned up palms and the chalice bearer will dip the wine and place it on your tongue. If you choose not to receive the wine at all, and only want bread, simply cross your arms over your chest to signal that you do not want the wine.
If you do not want to receive communion, but would like to receive a blessing from the priest, come to the altar rail, and cross your arms over your chest. This will signal to the priest that you want a blessing instead of communion.
When you are done at the altar rail, you may return to your pew.
Also, if you are unable to come forward for reasons of infirmity, please let an usher know and the clergy will bring communion to you in your pew.
Children are welcome to receive communion at the discretion of their parents. It is often best reserved for children who understand that communion is something special and can received bread and/or wine respectfully. Contrary to the assertion of some, it is not necessary for children to “understand” communion before they can receive. Indeed, many adults do not fully “understand” the mysteries of the Eucharist. Instead, we encourage families to encourage their children to participate and teach them by example and through discussion afterwards. If you have any questions about communion don’t hesitate to speak with a member of the clergy.
What to Expect at a Service
What is a Rite, and how are the services different?
Rite I and Rite II designate the style of the worship service (liturgy). Episcopalians worship according to outlines laid out in our Book of Common Prayer. There have been various revisions of our Prayer Book since the original, which was published in 1549. While we follow an outline, we do have some ability to offer different components based on the season and the day.
Each of our Sunday liturgies is a little bit different. Our 1928 liturgy is the oldest, and in most Episcopal Churches was replaced by Rite I and Rite II in the 1970’s. The 1928 and the Rite I liturgy use “Elizabethan English”, which will sound like what you may have read in the King James Bible. Rite II is the same structure service, but in modern English.
An example of how this looks and sounds in practice:
At most of our services, the priest will say: “The Lord be with you.”
In Rite I the people respond: “And with thy Spirit.”
In Rite II the people respond: “And also with you.”
All of our services are made up of two parts: word and sacrament. The ‘word’ part of the services is made up of prayers, readings from the bible, and the sermon. The ‘sacrament’ refers to the part of the service where we receive holy communion.
About the Sunday services:
8:00 am – This service is our most traditional and most formal service. It is a quiet service without music, with very traditional language and phrasing. There are only two scripture readings instead of the typical four. If you have been to other Episcopal services, chances are they weren’t 1928 BCP (Book of Common Prayer) services, so the format will be slightly different. This service changes very little from week to week apart from the readings and the sermon.
9:15 am – This is our most popular, and therefore most crowded service. We alternate between use of the more traditional Rite I language and the modern Rite II language. Our choir sings at this service, offering music that can range from soulful gospel to sacred hymns that are hundreds of years old. This is one of the services that is popular with families. Coffee Hour and Sunday School follow this service in our parish hall.
11:15 am – This service is our second largest service. It also has music every week, usually with a small ensemble of singers and occasionally with the full choir or visiting musicians. Some Sundays we start the service using Morning Prayer, an ancient form of daily prayer in the morning, before moving into Holy Communion. This service also alternates between Rite I and Rite II language.
About Services at St. Ignatius Chapel
On Saturdays at 5:30 pm we offer communion services in our chapel on the south end of the island. These services are generally relaxed, and offered in a more intimate setting, as the chapel is a smaller space. Saturday is usually comfortably full while Sunday may only have a couple of dozen people. These services are full services, and rarely include music.
What do people wear to Church?
At Christ Church you’re liable to see just about anything! Because this is a beach community it is not uncommon to see people dressed very casually. It is also not uncommon to see men wearing a jacket and tie. Ultimately, we want our worshippers to wear what makes them comfortable and allows them to worship fully.
Will I be lost as I try to follow the service?
All of our services now have bulletins that contain all the things you’ll need to participate fully in worship. If you are at a service that includes hymns, you may need to find the hymns in the hymnals that are in the pews, but they’re listed in the bulletin and at the front of the church.
Where do I park?
Christ Church is blessed with many things, but a large parking lot is not one of them. When Christ Church was built there wasn’t the need for parking like there is today! People would just tie their horses up in the churchyard. Today, when coming to Christ Church, many people park in the graveled area on Frederica Rd. just across from the church. There is parking in front of the parish house, and on the point of land as Frederica Rd. curves around to the right. A word of caution as you cross the street and when you leave after church– be sure to look for traffic. St. Ignatius has a parking lot right next to the chapel.
Where do I go on Sunday morning?
When you are at Christ Church you’ll notice two buildings. The historic church building sits in the midst of the churchyard, with a wide lawn in front of it. There is a long brick sidewalk that leads from the Litch Gate along Frederica Rd. right to the front door of the church. That’s where you’ll want to go for services. The other building, which sits closer to the road is where we gather for Coffee Hour, Sunday School, and where our nursery is located. Water and restrooms are available in both buildings. At St. Ignatius, the door to enter the church is just off the front sidewalk along Demere Rd.
Do I need to bring anything with me to a service?
All you ultimately need is a desire to meet God. If you want to bring a prayer book or a bible, you are welcome to, however, everything you need for the service will be provided for you.
What about my young children?
Kids of all ages are welcome to worship with their parents. We do have a professionally staffed nursery for kids 5 and under, located in the parish house. We expect that kids will make some noise in church, so parents need not be overly worried that everyone is watching them or thinking unkind thoughts about their children if they are not “perfect little angels.” We really do welcome children, and are used to their activity and their chorus. If it ever become necessary, parents are always welcome to step out with a child and come back in when they need to. Kids are kids in church just like anywhere else. If we don’t give them an opportunity to be in church, however, they won’t ever learn the value of the church family and the importance of worship.
It has nothing to do with the sermon, but I could use a cup of coffee...
We offer a coffee hour between the 9:15 and 11:15 am Sunday services. There are snack foods for all ages and usually water, iced tea, or lemonade in addition to the coffee. Coffee hour takes place in the parish hall, which is the building next to the church in the churchyard. As you face the church the Parish Hall is on the right.
|Daily Morning Prayer||Wed-Fri 8:00 am - St. Ignatius Chapel (Demere Rd.)|
|Daily Evening Prayer||Thurs-Sun 5:00 pm - Christ Church (Frederica Rd.)|