Sunday Celebration

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This page is an overview of what to expect at a typical Sunday Celebration.

Celebration Eucharist (Mass, Lord's Supper, Holy Communion) or Morning Prayer*
Language Contemporary (from the Book of Alternative Services, 1985 or other sources from the Anglican Communion)
Music Traditional Hymns (including Mohawk language) and Modern Praise Music
Media The words are projected on the wall (no books required but they are available if desired)
Audience This Celebration is open to all ages

Every Sunday we gather together to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and the work of God in our lives.  We do this by gathering in community, listening to God's Word proclaimed aloud in Holy Scripture and interpreted by our priest, celebrating Eucharist (the Lord's Supper), and being commissioned to go out into the world to build up the Kingdom of God.

As you enter the church, you will be welcomed at the door by a greeter.  At All Saints', the greeter will hand you a leaflet with the week's announcements, prayer cycle, and the Rector's Reflection (a snapshot of the Sunday sermon).  At Christ Church, you'll be given the leaflet as well as a hymn book and an order of service (the programme).  Find a pew and have a seat--if you sit next to a regular parishioner, please feel free to say hello and ask any questions you might have.  You will find we are generally a talkative bunch before the celebration begins.  If you bring children, please do not stress over keeping them quiet or seated in the pew.  We welcome little ones and do not mind if they talk, cry, or wander (but we ask that, out of respect for other worshippers, children not be allowed to become unruly).

Our Sunday Celebrations begin with the Gathering of the Community:  announcements, a sung hymn, some prayers and a hymn of praise.  Our priest is the presider over the liturgy--in the name of God he welcomes us and invites us to worship.

The next major portion of the service is the Proclamation of the Word.  We hear four readings from the Bible, usually one each from the Old Testament, Psalms, the New Testament, and the Gospels.  There is a hymn relating to the theme of the day's Scripture sung between the last two readings.  Our priest preaches a sermon or homily of about 15 minutes which explains the meaning of the Scripture and challenges us to consider how the story shapes our lives of faith.  After a time of silent reflection, and occasionally an anthem at Christ Church, we respond to the hearing of the Word by affirming the principles of our faith in the Creed (which is a translation of a Latin word that means "I believe").  This is followed by the Prayers of the People, the Confession and Absolution (declaration of forgiveness), and the Peace, where we greet one another in the name of the Lord.

At this time, we sing another hymn as the collection plate is passed to allow people to contribute from their treasure to support the work of the Church.  The bread and wine that will be used for the Communion are brought forward and the priest and a server prepare the altar for the celebration of the Eucharist (a word meaning "thanksgiving").  We give thanks for the gifts and then stand while the priest prays over the bread and wine, retelling the story of salvation and saying the words that Jesus said over bread and wine at the Last Supper.  We believe that, in the bread and wine, Jesus becomes present to us in our community.  The prayer is concluded with the Lord's Prayer, the Breaking of the Bread, and a hymn to Jesus, the Lamb of God.  Everyone sits or kneels while waiting for their turn to proceed to the front of the church to receive the bread and wine, which have become the Body and Blood of Jesus.  To receive Communion, worshippers approach the priest with their hands cupped together (like you're about to drink out of them) to receive the bread.  Worshippers then move to the lay minister of Communion, who administers the wine.  You are invited to assist the cup to your lips.  After communicating, worshippers return to their seats to pray, sing, or reflect.  There are hymns and songs sung during the Communion.

After the Communion and a time of silence for reflection, we stand to pray and are blessed by the priest.  We sing a final hymn and are dismissed to go out into the world, filled with grace by having shared in the Sunday Celebration with our brothers and sisters, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the work of God.

*On the third Sunday of most months, one of the two Layreaders lead Morning Prayer.  The order of the service is slightly different, primarily in that there is no celebration of the Eucharist.  If the third Sunday is a major feast (such as Easter), then the lay-led worship may be transferred or omitted that month.

Our worship takes about an hour.  After the Celebration we take time to build our friendships through fellowship, conversation, and food (a breakfast of toast or other baked goods at All Saints' and sweets or a light lunch at Christ Church, plus tea, coffee, and juice).

Although there is lots of ritual in the liturgy, we are fairly informal.  This means you don't have to get dressed up or leave your kids at home or be afraid of doing something wrong.  Our church is a small, warm, and close-knit community.  We all know each other quite well.  But, don't worry--we love to have visitors and to share with them in worship of the Lord!  We hope you will join us soon!

We are a parish of the Anglican Diocese of Ontario in the Anglican Church of Canada
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