What To Expect

How to Receive Holy Eucharist
All baptized Christians are welcome at the Lord’s Table. Come to the altar rail as the ushers direct and take the next available place. Our custom (at all services other than 9am) is to kneel at the rail, but you may stand if it is more comfortable. After receiving communion, please return to your pew. If you are unable to come to the altar rail, tell one of the ushers and a verger will bring communion to you.

Receiving the Bread and Wine
After receiving the bread, you may immediately consume it, or you may hold it and intinct (dip) it into the wine. To take the wine directly from the chalice, gently guide it to your lips. 

Gluten-free hosts also are available

Please bring forward the yellow card found in your pew that indicates you would like gluten-free.

Receiving the Bread Alone
Receiving either the bread or wine alone is considered full communion.

Receiving a Blessing
If you or your children would prefer to receive a blessing rather than communion, simply come forward to the altar rail and cross your arms across your chest as a signal to the priest.

Stand, Sit, or Kneel?

It is our custom to stand, sit, or kneel at different parts of the service. Most of these postures are optional, but we find them useful in helping to worship with our bodies and not just our minds. According to the biblical Jewish and Christian traditions we stand to praise God and to pray, we sit in order to listen, we kneel when expressing penitence or devotion.

If you are ever in doubt about what to do or say during the liturgy refer to the rubrics (instructions in italics) in the red prayer books you can find in the pews.


All Children Are Welcome

All baptized Christians – no matter their age – are encouraged to come to the altar rail for Holy Communion.

Our young ones have a few options:

  • Some children prefer to receive only the bread. Receiving either the bread or wine is considered full communion.
  • Those children who prefer not to receive communion may receive a blessing instead by
    immediately crossing their arms across their chest.
  • Some parents allow their children to receive communion only after they have completed
    instruction at Eucharistic Preparation classes in March. Children are encouraged to participate in this class to deepen their understanding of the high point of the worship experience.

All Children Are Welcome in Church
Children bring much richness to our worship community with new ways of seeing familiar rituals. Children also can bring awkward questions and unexpected comments!

Here are a few ways to make church a more pleasant experience for everyone:

  • Come early to get a good seat, preferably where children can see.
  • Share your Worship Booklet with young ones and help them follow along with the prayers and music.
  • Be realistic. Young children cannot be expected to sit quietly all the time. Elementary-age children, however, have longer attention spans and can be expected to participate fully in the liturgy with your help.
  • Do some homework. Spend time helping your child become familiar or even memorize some of the prayers and responses. Being able to participate helps them feel included.
  • Children’s activity sheets and crayons are available in the narthex/lobby of the church to occupy little hands and make church a more welcoming place for children. These sheets have a Bible verse and other activities that coincide with the lesson of the day to keep your children busy during the worship service.
  • Do not feel embarrassed if you need to take your child out for a while.