Sunday Parish Communion
When you come to a Sunday Parish Communion service at St James's Church you will be welcomed and given the weekly pew sheet which includes details of services and events for the forthcoming week, general notices, contact phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You will also be given a service booklet, which, together with the readings in the pew sheet, will enable you to share fully in the service.
During the Christian Year there are different seasons (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter) so the services change slightly to match the season. When there is no particular season it is called Ordinary Time. There are several different Parish Communion Service Booklets, each of which is used during that particular time of the year:
The service is explained on the page Holy Communion. We stand to sing hymns and to say the affirmation of faith, the Creed; and for the reading of the Gospel in the Holy Eucharist. We sit during readings from the bible, the sermon, and the choir anthems. We sit or kneel for the prayers. It is customary for those receiving communion to have been confirmed by a bishop. Children who are too young to take communion and those who are not confirmed are invited to receive a blessing at the altar instead. When Christians gather together during a church service, they worship God in different ways. These ways can involve praising God with music, readings from the Bible, prayers, thoughtful silences, and a sermon. Read about worship on the page Worship.
This service is our most important service or celebration and has several names: Holy Communion (meaning fellowship and sharing); the Lord's Supper (meaning a meal given by Jesus himself); Eucharist (meaning thanksgiving); Mass and the Divine Liturgy. It is our most important service as it celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus, particularly remembering the Last Supper when we share the bread and wine as Jesus did with his disciples. Jesus was the host at the Last Supper and we believe he is the unseen host at the Holy Communion service today with the congregation as his guests.
In the Church of England, Holy Communion may only be celebrated by an ordained bishop or priest, when he/she is called the celebrant or president.
Parish Communion, and also the All-age service, is followed by refreshments in the church hall. Our small hospitality team provide tea and freshly-brewed coffee as well as cakes and hot bites. All our drinks are Fairtrade products.