What To Expect … A Newcomer’s Guide to Sunday Mornings at Transfiguration
On most Sundays the service begins with announcements being made by a member of the Vestry followed by a time of silence to prepare ourselves for worship. Prior to and during worship you may see some people bowing toward the altar when entering and exiting the pew. Others may make the sign of the cross at various times. Some may kneel during certain portions of the service while others might stand. As with any such customs in the Episcopal Church, all may, none must. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to do or not do whatever they are comfortable with and is meaningful for them.
The Holy Eucharist (meaning thanksgiving) Rite II follows the order of worship beginning on page 355 of the Book of Common Prayer which can be found in all of the pews along with the hymnals. The order of worship is also included in the program handed out when entering the church. The Eucharist is broken into two sections, The Word and The Holy Communion. The Word focuses on readings from the Bible as well as a sermon, while The Holy Communion focuses on consecration and distribution of the bread and wine signifying the body and blood of Christ. At various times during the service, it is customary to stand if you are able while other times remaining seated.
During communion, we approach the altar to receive the bread and wine. It should be noted that we use real wine in the Episcopal Church. The host, or bread, is handed by the priest and is then dipped into the chalice and both elements are consumed together. Gluten free hosts and a separate chalice are available for those with allergies. If you do not wish to receive communion but would like a blessing instead, simply approach the altar with your arms crossed and the priest will provide you with a blessing. After the final dismissal, please feel welcome to join us for coffee and fellowship immediately following the service in the Fellowship Hall.