What to expect on a Sunday Morning?
At Holy Communion, we seek to adapt ancient liturgy for today. If you grew up in a less formal church, Holy Communion may feel pretty traditional. If you grew up in a formal church, our church may deconstruct that formality, and ask you to pray using more modern words, or sing in a language from the developing world. We seek to balance tradition and culture in our worship. When we hold the tension well between the ancient and the modern, liturgy comes alive.
We have two morning services. Both services include the Scripture readings for the day, a sermon, prayers and communion – the sharing of the blessed bread and wine. We call the service “Holy Eucharist,” but other churches may refer to it as “the Service of the Table” – “Mass” – “Holy Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper.” You can find the readings for each Sunday – which we call the Sunday Lectionary, on the calendar here. Each of our services has a distinct flavor, and everyone is always welcome! You can expect to be greeted by a friendly usher, who will give you a bulletin and answer any questions you may have.
8:00 am Service
This is a small, peaceful, quiet service. There is no music, which adds to the meditative mood of the service. Our Rector (the Episcopal Church’s word for the head pastor) sometimes calls this service “The Lord’s Breakfast.” It usually ends around 8:45.
9:00 a.m. Breakfast and Education- Between the services we have breakfast (from the Sunday after Labor Day through the Sunday before Memorial Day) and Education for all ages.
10:30 a.m. Service
This is our larger service, including a choir, instrumental music, and usually a size-able attendance. Music is led by the semi-professional Holy Communion choir. This service also invites kids out to children’s chapel, while adults stay for the sermon. The service usually lasts between one hour to an hour and ten minutes.
How Will You Know What To Do At The Service?
If you’re not familiar with the Episcopal Church, don’t worry! Our Order of Service is a step-by-step guide printed for every Sunday service with each reading, tradition, song, and process. You’ll be able to follow along, and we hope you’ll find our worship joyful, beautiful and meaningful.
If you are familiar with the Episcopal Church, you will recognize the rhythms of our liturgy. As a parish we tend to use gender inclusive and expansive language services or selections from 1979 Prayer book that many Episcopalians know by heart.
What about kids?
Holy Communion intentionally makes room for children. We say we like everyone to act their age. There are coloring sheets, crayons, and colored pencils available at the front entrance, and the back fo the church. If a child gets especially fussy, the chapel space (which is accessible through the back doors of the nave) is a soundproof quiet space during the service, with windows into the sanctuary and a live audio feed from inside the church. For our smallest kids we offer nursery from 8:45am until noon each Sunday.
At the 8am service there are many small kids, and they are warmly welcomed (even when they’re boisterous or fussy). But the nursery is also open at 8am, if you could use a break from your little one.
9:00am Breakfast and 9:15 am Formation
We strongly encourage families to have breakfast with us, between the services, and to attend our formation hour. Children 0-4 are welcome in our nursery and children over 4 are welcome at Godly Play. Youth are invited to attend the forum, though sometimes they choose to volunteer with Godly play or sit and eat breakfast together as they plan their next youth group activity.
Most of our families attend the larger service. After the Gospel reading children are invited to join the procession and they make their way into the lounge for children’s chapel which lasts through the sermon and the prayers of the people. They return to their families at the Peace.
There are gender non-specific single restrooms in the Parish Lounge, to the right as you enter the main door.. You can also find larger men’s and women’s restrooms downstairs which each have changing tables. (There’s also a changing table in the nursery.) We ensure every bathroom on our campus is stocked with menstrual hygiene products provided by the church.
Is Holy Communion Accessible To People With Disabilities?
Three accessible parking spots are available on the sidewalk in front of the church on Sunday mornings. Additionally, a disabled drop-off is available on Jackson, in front of the office entrance. The exterior doors at Jackson and the main door on Delmar have push button access. There is a ramp to the main entrance, and an ADA compliant elevator onsite. Additionally, audio enhancement equipment is available at the Welcome Table in the Narthex. Feel free to ask an Usher for assistance.
Everyone arrives late occasionally. If you find yourself behind schedule and worried about disrupting the service, take a walk through the lounge, and head toward the East Side, nearest the choir. There tends to be more seating available there.