We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Notes from “Affirming our Faith”, June 2, 2013

Affirming our Faith 2 – Eucharist

George Dix (4 October 1901 – 12 May 1952) was the first to write on the Eucharist

Eucharist taps into the holiness of God for the people

Our word Eucharist comes from the Greek word , eucharistos, which means thanksgiving. 

When we celebrate the Eucharist, we are acting as the Body of Christ, the people of God.  Every Sunday we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection.  Easter, every Sunday, and the celebration of the Eucharist are all tied together. 

Now it’s important to remember that the Eucharist is the action of the Body of Christ, Head and members.  God in Christ is the central focus, and all of us play our parts.  The ministers of the church are all of us, and we all have our various roles in the Eucharist.  We are part of the “priesthood of all believers”.

By far the most important role for everyone is to be the celebrant community, the Body of Christ offering a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving—in this way the sacrifice of Christ is made present, and he unites us to his one offering of himself. 

In Rite I, it says this is our “sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving “ .  Thankful for something that has happened . Remember the Toda Feast in the Feasting with Jesus book

The Eucharist is the action of the whole church

Things we do in the service include silent praises, sing praise, saying the prayer list, becoming educated in the sermon, learning about Psalms and sharing in reading, carry cross gospel and candles, offering, reading the Word of God, participating in Fellowship. 

We come in as the Body of Christ and go out as the Body of Christ. The Candle is the light of Christ during the service and at the end of the service it is put off – we have internalized that light during the week and share it.

The liturgy is divided into two parts – Word of God and Holy Communion. Both are considered together and can’t be separated . The structure of our Eucharist dates back to the middle of the second century. 

4 fold shape Eucharist – we gather, Word of God, Holy Communion and then go out

1. Gather – opening hymn . Not required. It brings us together – unifies us as group. Ringing bell calls us .. 

The whole assembly should understand and experience itself as the celebrant—as an assembly.  The opening hymn draws us together.  The procession alludes to the pilgrimage of the Christian life, movement from distraction to mindfulness, the journey to the kingdom.

Acolytes set tone of service

Procession – moving from distraction to mindfulness. 

Open Acclamation – Blessed God, Holy Spirit – inviting space of worship.  The presider invites the people to a statement acknowledging and praising God. 

Collect of Purity – preparatory prayer for the entire congregation . Used to be said only by the Priest in Sacristy – Change – everyone needs this. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

Gloria – helps remind us of God saving power in Jesus.

Everything in the service has purpose. We will do an instructed Eucharist one Sunday

2. Word of God

Liturgy of Word – Work of people (Liturgy). Proclaiming is work of People. The Bible is our story – story of salvation with fulfillment through Jesus.  Lector reads scripture. There is a need to practice the readings before hand and proclaim it as read. The better they do it, the more people get out of it

So during the Liturgy of the Word, we recall our story, see ourselves as part of the story, acclaim God who has acted and continues to act.  We ask God to act in specific ways today, we acknowledge our failures to be agents of God’s saving actions in accordance with the Baptismal Covenant, and we ask God’s forgiveness and we pledge that as we’ve been forgiven, we pledge to be forgiving. We are asserting our willingness to embody the saving action of God today. 

The life, death, resurrection and ascension  of Jesus is the pattern of life that triumphs over death, and salvation over sin.

Reading – Old Testament

Response – 1st is the Psalm, the response to Old Testament reading . It says some of the same things

The response is  more powerful if sung

Epistle – may relate to the other readings or now

Sequence hymn – reflects on what read in Epistle or looks toward the Gospel

       Gospel – We stand for that, reflecting the reverence of  Jesus and his Word

       The Sermon—should be a prophetic, contemplative grappling with how God is acting in this particular time and place in the light of God’s action in the biblical record.   It holds in tension the Biblical record of God’s action, the current situation of the world, and the hope celebrated in the Eucharist.

Hear is the Word then – this is  how it is applied today. Sermons try to be intentional -of God’s action in the world today and express hope we have in our lives.  Sermons need to be applied in our lives.

       Nicene Creed 325AD and formed in various councils to find out who are.  It is an attempt to express in language what is ultimately beyond the scope of human understanding.  It is an acclamation. 

 It is religious language put words around who God is thought and prayer in many centuries. Affirmation of what believe.  Baptists and some other Protestants don’t say it –don’t need creed to define our relationship to Christ.  

       Apostles Creed  is the old Baptismal creed we say in Morning Prayer

       Prayer of the People – We do this in a group and then individually.  Example prayers are in the Prayer Book but there many other choices that can be used.

       Confession of Sin Easter season is not required to have it since it is a time of celebration joy.  We do it at St. Peter’s

       Peace – variety of forms   point is to go to the person around you and say the relationship I am having with you and the Lord.  “I confessed my sins,  I am peace with God and now I am peace with you “


 3 Holy Communion

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, Christ welcomes the church into communion with himself even as he unites the members in a profoundly intimate way with one another.  As we are shaped more perfectly into the image of Christ, we are sent as his Body to serve the world and to proclaim the Good News. 

As we offer our sacrifice of thanks and praise for the saving acts of God in history and especially what God accomplished in Jesus, Jesus joins our sacrifice of thanks and praise to his one, sufficient sacrifice.  By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, bread and wine become the means by which Jesus becomes tangibly present to the assembly, and by partaking of these gifts, the community gives itself to Christ that they might corporately be his Body in the world today. 

Liturgy of Eucharist – process of people to offer thanksgiving

Great Thanksgiving

Important to remember that the Great Thanksgiving is a prayer to God.  We are recalling before God the institution of the Lord’s supper, not reenacting the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples.  When we lay hands on the bread and wine, we are designating which bread and which wine is being consecrated.  The Great Thanksgiving as a whole is what leaves the bread and wine transformed, not one particular action.  The priest does not have “magic hands.” 

Epiclesis (invocation, or calling down from on high)—it expresses the church’s understanding that the Holy Spirit is the active force in the transformation o both the elements and the assembly

Gospel Book – visible – believe Jesus is in the Word – Word of what we do – Jesus is in word – among us . This is why the Gospel book is brought in and out       

Altar – Cover chalice and Patten – way to offer reverence – these things to do are important to u .  Tradition says it was to keep flies off.

The stack – the veil, the chalice and then the patten which holds the bread

Intinction or dipping the bread has been allowed since 1836

The Eucharist prayers change with season and have differences in language

Preferably the only thing that needs to be on altar is one chalice and one paten to represent we are one body

Breaking the Bread—Be known to us, Lord Jesus, in the breaking of the bread

Christians have struggled with the idea of transubstantiation. 

Does the bread and wine get transformed into the body and blood of Christ ?  Catholics says yes.  Episcopalians say Jesus is present in the bread and wine but it is not the flesh and blood of Christ.

Why does water get mixed with wine ?

When Jesus was speared at the time of resurrection, water flowed with the wine

 -Feasting with Jesus – part of the banquet – water always mixed with wine – cut the wine with water and then pass the common cup.

 -Mix humanity with divinity

The priest prays on our behalf during communion. He/she does not have magic hands or magic words to put Jesus in the bread and wine

All the wine is drunk or disposed if consecrated . Never leave at the altar. You can have a pasena that connect the sink to the ground

Bread has to be consumed or return to Earth.

 4. Going out – Dismissal

The people receive the Sacrament, pray the prayer of thanks—still part of the Communion action, and go forth to embody what they have received and express what they are. 

The Blessing

The Closing Hymn

The Dismissal  (Should be given before the hymn begins!)