ABOUT COMMUNION (EUCHARIST)
update: Per directive of the The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe, Episcopal Bishop of Central New York, St. James (along with all other Episcopal churches in the diocesese) have temporarily suspend in-person worship and gatherings. Communion will not be offered.
In the Episcopal church, we have communion at almost every service. You will be invited to the altar, and may receive “in both kinds” – that is receive the bread and wine – or by receiving only the bread. Celebrating communion is one way we express our relationship with God, our acceptance of Christ as our Savior and our common bond with each other.
Medical experts agree that the danger of transmitting communicable diseases by sharing the chalice (cup) is negligible. All Episcopal churches use real wine; many, including St. James, use port. The higher alcoholic content, along with the use of the silver chalice, reduces germs, virus and microbes. Science studies indicate this along with the careful wiping of both inside and outside surface of the chalice and turning the chalice to present a "fresh surface" greatly reduces the risk. See "The Common Cup and Communicable Disease
If you still felt uncomfortable using a common cup, don’t worry. Episcopalians believe Christ is equally present in both the consecrated bread and in the wine; “receiving one, the other, or both, get you no more (or less) in Christ’s presence.” If you prefer not to receive wine, simply cross your arms across your chest as the chalice bearer comes by. During this time of coronavirus, the Bishop of the Diocsese of Central New York has issued a directive that "Intinction (the dipping of the Bread into the Wine) is not to be practiced in any form"
Please also read about communion during the time of coronavirus
The wine and host can also be brought to you at the pew if you have mobility problems. Just let an usher know of your need.
If you are gluten intolerant, we have gluten free (less than 0.01%) wafers. Simply let the priest know when you come to the altar rail. Our priest consectrates gluten-free hosts each time we offer Holy Eucharist.
At the "passing the peace" we generally shake hands and say "God's peace be with you," "May the peace of the Lord be with you," or something similar. But, passing the peace need not involve physical contact. You can always simply greet people with a nod, make the sign of the peace with your hands, or bow. During this time of cornonavirus, the Bishop has issued a directive that "the peace is to be passed without physical contact."
HAND SANITIZERS are available at the back of the church and on the table in the hallway leading to the Parish Hall. Please feel free to use them. The Center for Disease Control recommends frequent hand washing with soap and warm/hot water as the best way to fight germs. Hand sanitizers are the next best alternative. In case you are wondering, there is a container of hand sanitizer at the altar which our Priests and Lay Eucharistic Ministers use, as appropriate, before handling Communion items. As one parish member commented, “Purell is the new Lavabo.” Don’t know what a Lavabo is? Ask one of the “old timers.” HINT: Lavabo "I shall wash"
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you taught us to pray.
So, in a moment of silence
we pray for all known to us
who tonight need to know you are near.
We thank you,
for all engaged in the ministries of healing and reconciliation,
for those who work in hospitals and hospices,
for doctors and district nurses,
for carers and counsellors,
for peacemakers and peacekeepers.
God our maker,
Jesus our healer,
Holy Spirit of love and life,
hear our prayers.
To those who seek you,
to all who need you,
to the world you cherish
bring peace. (The Iona Abbey Worship Book, p. 123)