The Holy Eucharist
Our primary purpose in gathering as a Christian community is to worship God. In the Anglican Church the principal service is the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist (along with Baptism) is one of the two principle sacraments of the Church. A sacrament is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.
The Holy Eucharist is a sacrament of Christ’s body and blood. The term is from the Greek meaning “thanksgiving.” Jesus instituted the Eucharist “on the night when he was betrayed.” At the Last Supper he shared the bread and the cup of wine at a sacred meal with his disciples. He identified the bread with his body and the wine with his blood of the new covenant. Jesus commanded his disciples to “do this” in remembrance of him.
Christ’s sacrifice is made present by the Eucharist, and in it we are united to him. We assert Christ’s presence in the sacramental elements of bread and wine and in the gathered Eucharistic community.
The notion of community is very important. Because as the church’s public worship of God, the Holy Eucharist is liturgy. And liturgy is derived from the Greek words for “work” and “people.” It is, thus, the work of Christian people. Liturgy draws us all together in worship and reflects our understanding of God – and our understanding that words alone often are insufficient to express what we know and believe about God.
The liturgy of the Holy Eucharist, shaped originally by the practices of the Jewish synagogue and the formal Jewish meal, and the private and later public worship of the early church, has taken many forms. But the ancient core of the service has remained constant, consisting of reading scripture, taking the elements of bread and wine to the altar, an offering of a prayer of thanksgiving over them, the breaking of the bread, and the sharing of the bread and wine at communion.
You may download our Worship Brochure for a complete description of our service of Holy Eucharist.