How can I participate in the service?
At St. Paul’s, the officiant generally announces all hymn numbers, and page numbers in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). On Sundays, or at special services, you also may pick up a Parish Bulletin, which outlines the congregation’s part of the liturgy and the hymn numbers from the hymnal. Scripture readings for the day are inserted.
We customarily stand when we sing; sit to hear lessons, sermons, or announcements; and stand or kneel when we pray. We follow the liturgy in the order of service in the prayer book and participate audibly in the people’s responses, including the Amen at the end of each prayer.
Members of the congregation will be glad to help you find your materials, and you may stand, sit and kneel with the congregation as you feel comfortable.
May I take Communion?
People who have been baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and/or who receive Communion in their own church are welcome to take Communion at St. Paul’s. Our custom is to come to the altar rail, kneel, and receive the Communion Bread in our open hands.
After consuming the Bread, we receive the Cup, guiding it to our lips for a small taste of Wine. Alternatively, people who do not wish to sip from the Cup may receive “by intinction,” in which the Bread is dipped in the Wine before being eaten.
Do children receive Communion at St. Paul’s?
Children receive Communion at St. Paul’s at about age 6 or 7, but younger visitors who take Communion in their home church are welcome to receive it here.
Children who do not receive Communion are encouraged to accompany their parents to the altar rail, put their hands together, and receive a prayer of blessing.
How may I receive Holy Communion if I am not able to come to the altar rail?
For those who cannot come to the altar, notify the usher and the priest will deliver the Sacraments to you. (If there is no usher, simply raise your hand and catch the Celebrant’s eye as the last people leave the altar rail.)