Eucharist is a Greek word meaning ‘thanksgiving’ and has come to be the name of the service in which we share a meal of consecrated (blessed) bread and wine called Communion. The Eucharist is the central liturgy of the Christian life through which we share in the living presence of Christ. The bread and wine are consecrated as sacraments of Christ’s body and blood. The liturgy is divided into two parts: the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the table.
The liturgy of the word focuses on Scripture. There are lessons from the Hebrew Scriptures (often called the Old Testament), the Psalms, and the Christian Scriptures (usually called the New Testament). These readings are followed by a sermon and a congregational response (usually the Nicene Creed, Prayers of the People, a confession, and the Peace).
The liturgy of the table focuses on the meal of bread and wine. There is a prayer of consecration, the Lord’s Prayer, the meal itself, and a post-Communion prayer & blessing. St. John’s has an ‘open table’ policy, meaning that all are invited and encouraged to receive Communion.
Celebrating ‘Eucharist’ is the weekly renewal of our baptismal life, receiving the life of Christ so that we might bring the blessings of Christ’s life to others in love and service.
The Episcopal Church recognizes and provides for infant baptism and for the baptism of any person who desires to become a Christian. At St. John’s we generally baptize on the dates traditionally used by the church through the centuries -- the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the first Sunday after the Epiphany), Easter, the day of Pentecost, and All Saints’ Day or the Sunday after All Saints’ Day. Our baptisms typically occur at our 9:30 a.m. service, but arrangements can be made with the clergy for baptism at other times.
Confirmation into the Episcopal Church is a rite in which one expresses a “mature commitment to Christ” and receives “strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.” Those interested in confirmation can be instructed in the Christian faith through an Inquirer’s Class which is offered at St. John’s starting in January. Confirmation at the hands of our Bishop occurs at a regional confirmation service.
Funeral and Burial Arrangements
Arrangements for a funeral or memorial service may be made by calling the church office or contacting the clergy. These services may be held in the church or chapel. If you would like to inquire about purchasing a space in our columbarium, please contact our Parish Administrator.
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is both a joyous and solemn occasion during which vows are made before God and the company gathered in the church. Those interested in having their marriage blessed by entering into this sacrament are asked to speak with the clergy at least six months prior to their marriage to arrange a suitable date and schedule premarital counseling.
Reconciliation of a Penitent (Confession)
Reconciliation of a Penitent or Penance or Confession is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. ‘All may and none must’ make a confession is the standard of the Episcopal Church. Many prefer to make confessions during penitential seasons, such as Lent or Advent. Please talk privately with a member of the St. John’s clergy for further information or to set up an appointment.
Services for the Sick and at the Hour of Death
Holy Unction (anointing) and the Laying on of Hands for Healing are available to those who are about to enter the hospital, those who have been admitted in an emergency, and those who are ill at home. Please call the office to advise the clergy. If a parishioner is near death, the clergy should be called at any hour of the day or night, to administer Holy Communion, absolution or last rites, if desired.