It is known by many names, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist, Mass, the Lord’s Supper, and all signify the same holy service of bread and wine shared in community.
This “family meal” offered to all the baptized is meant to connect us to one another and to all followers of Christ across time and space. As we gather at the table, we receive the bread and wine as a foretaste of the heavenly banquet which we will someday share together.
The Holy Eucharist, as it is called in the Book of Common Prayer, is the principal Sunday celebration in most parishes and it is far more than simply the meal shared around the table. The Holy Eucharist includes times of reflection, learning, confession, and prayer.
We gather as a community to hear the Word of God in readings from Scripture, to reflect on our lives and God’s calling in the sermon, to confess how we have failed one another and God and then seek and receive God’s forgiveness, and to pray together, lifting up ourselves, our community, and our world to God, and to affirm our faith through the creeds. We then share together in the “Great Thanksgiving,” the bread and wine of the Eucharist.
Fed and sustained by our time together, and by the presence of Christ in the bread and wine, the service concludes with a blessing as we go forth into the world to love as Christ loves us and to love our neighbors as ourselves.