Holy Eucharist is our primary form of worship in the Episcopal Church. This service is known as communion, for in it we commune with God and also with each other as the Body of Christ. It is also known as Eucharist, which is the Greek word meaning “Thanksgiving.” In the Eucharist, we give thanks for what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is a service that sets aside time as we know it. The Eucharist brings both the past and the future to present reality as we remember Jesus life, death and resurrection and await his coming again. The service is like a drama that we all enter. The first act of the drama is “The Liturgy of the Word.” This first half of the service is based on Jewish worship, which preceded Christianity. God’s mighty acts in history are recalled through scripture and applied to our lives in the sermon. The second act of the drama will be “The Liturgy of the Table.” The liturgy is not something that the clergy do and the congregation watches. This can be seen in the word “Liturgy” itself. Liturgy is a Greek word that comes from the root words for “people” and “work,” so the Liturgy is “the work of the people.” The liturgy is something that we all do together. The service begins with an opening hymn, the procession and the opening acclamation. The opening hymn is a time for all the voices of the congregation to join as one to prepare to begin the work of the people together, so that by the time of the opening words of the service, we may respond as one gathered community. Please note that all people may come forward to receive bread and wine in our communion service. You do not have to be an Episcopalian to take part fully.
To get a feel for Holy Eucharist, here is an Annotated booklet that you can print off and bring with you when you worship with us on Sunday. Many thanks to the Rev. Frank Logue from King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia for creating this helpful tool.