Welcome to Eucharistic Worship at Monica and St. James.
The Mass, also known as the Eucharist, the Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is celebrated each Sunday morning at 8:00 am and 10:00 am. The Liturgy, from the Book of Common Prayer 1979, follows the typical pattern of the Western Churches. Hymns are sung, Scripture is read, prayers are offered, sins are forgiven and the Eucharist is celebrated.
Children are welcome to be active participants in the liturgy at St. Monica and St. James. We also have two nursery attendants available that offer story time for children. Children join the adults in the Eucharist at the time of the Offertory.
Some are curious about what we believe about the Eucharist. Anglicans are somewhat vague on the issue because explaining a mystery isn't easy. Anglicans in general believe in the Doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist: that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of the Risen Christ. As in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, how that happens is not defined. Is it physical? Is it metaphoric? Is it merely symbolic? We don't know and in every reverent sense we don't care. All we know is that through it, Christ offers himself to us and that through receiving the Holy Eucharist our souls and bodies are fed with the very Being of Christ himself.
As a parish in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, we pay great reverence to the Blessed Sacrament as if it were the person of Our Lord himself. However our Lord is present in the Sacrament, it's the closest physical presence of him we can know this side of the grave. Incense is offered as a symbol of our prayers rising to heaven.
At the time of the administration of Holy Communion, if you seek God and are drawn to Christ you are welcome at God's table.
You will notice that the ministers of the Liturgy wear special clothing. These "vestments" don't signify that the wearers are any better than the rest of the congregation. They serve more as uniforms for people filling a particular function within the community. And, incidentally, the long, white vestment worn by the Choir and the Clergy under their other vestments is symbolic of the garment given to the newly baptized. So, in essence, it is the "vestment" of the entire laity which one theoretically could wear to Church every Sunday if so desired.
So, join us each Sunday as we celebrate the Presence of Christ in our midst. Come as you are knowing that you are welcome within this household of Christians in any ways comfortable to you. Also know that you are in a safe place where your being a child of God is honored and celebrated.