Church of the Holy communion, Lake Geneva
What time are your worship opportunities?
10.45 am Rite II with Music at Church of the Holy Communion, Lake Geneva, Wi. (Currently we are not meeting in person – we have zoom services on Sundays at 9:00 am. Call our office at: 262.248.3522 for access to the zoom services.)
Do I have to dress up to come to worship?
NO. Wear whatever you think is appropriate. God is more concerned with your heart.
What are these books in the rack in front of me?
The red book is the Book of Common Prayer. It provides liturgies, prayers and instructions so that all members of the church may share common worship. The blue book is the 1982 Hymnal. The hymn numbers are provided in the bulletin insert the usher gave you, and on the hymn boards at the front of the church.
What are the papers the greeters gave me when I came in (or that you picked up)?
It is the Bulletin or Pew sheet. It contains the order for the worship. Inserted in this booklet are probably two pieces of paper: on one you’ll find the Bible readings for today; on another you’ll find announcements and other timely information
Why are there some people sitting quietly before the service?
It’s an Episcopal thing. Some of us take time before the service to say hello to God, to prepare for Communion, and perhaps to go over the readings or other information printed on the inserts in the bulletin.
Why do some people bow or kneel before entering the pews, and others don’t do anything at all?
What you’re noticing is called “reverencing” and people have different ways of doing it. Some bow in the direction of the altar, some “genuflect” (touch their knee to the floor), others reverence silently or without gesture. It’s like we said, do whatever helps you to worship; don’t do whatever hinders that.
Why do some people touch their fingers to their forehead and shoulders?
Again, this is a personal worship style. This is called making the sign of the cross. Some people do it out of habit, others because it reminds them of the price Jesus paid to enable us to respond to God’s love; still others because it’s their way of “taking up their own cross” and following him. You will see them doing this at times during the service, too. But you don’t have to cross yourself just because others do.
There’s an awful lot of stuff in this church.
That’s true. The Episcopal way of worshiping exercises all of the senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. We like to think of it as involving every part of us in worship, giving God a lot of ways to reach us.
This all looks very Catholic to me. Is this a Roman Catholic Church?
No. Yes. Well, that’s a hard one to answer. Although the ancient Church from which the Episcopal Church sprang was Roman Catholic, the present-day Episcopal Church has practices and beliefs that are distinctly different from those of the Roman Catholic Church. The important thing, however, is our worship of God.
Hey, I just want to know one thing. Is anybody going to make me stand up and give my name or anything like that?
No. Not because we don’t care; in fact, you will find we care very much. We just don’t want to embarrass you or make you uncomfortable. But we hope you will fill out our newcomer card and leave it with an usher or on a table near an exit.
So, what’s going to happen next?
As you wait for the service to start, the first thing you may see will be Altar Guild volunteers placing linens and arranging things around the altar and the lecterns. Sometimes acolytes will light candles on the altar. One thing you can do before the actual service starts is familiarize yourself with the bulletin and the hymnals. Whatever we will be singing is listed in the bulletin. If you love the hymn, belt it out, whether you’re in tune or not. If you don’t know the hymn or don’t want to sing, you can just read the words to yourself. Feel free to do whatever works for you.
Who are the people in the funny clothes?
Not much of a fashion statement, is it? Depending on the service you’re attending, the procession may be led by someone wearing a white robe, carrying a large cross (watch how some people bow as it passes them), and others may be carrying the Gospel Book or simply walking in the procession. Finally come the clergy; they, too, will be wearing white robes, but they will also be wearing a stole, whose color follows the color of the season. The deacons wear their stole across the left shoulder and gathered at the right hip, and the priest wears their stole around the neck with the ends hanging straight down. (If the Bishop is present, he or she will be last in the procession. You’ll know it’s the Bishop because of the pointy hat, called a MITRE, and the fancy staff, called a crosier.
What about Communion/Holy Eucharist/The Lord’s Supper?
All baptized Christians are full members of the Body of Christ. We encourage all baptized Christians (including children) to receive communion. If you need help preparing your child, please contact us.
How do I take Communion/Holy Eucharist/The Lord’s Supper?
All are invited and encouraged to participate. Communion is received at the altar rail. Approach the altar rail via the center aisle, and return to your seats via the side aisles. You may kneel or stand to receive communion. Just put your hands out and a priest will put a wafer or a piece of bread in your hand. Simply raise your hands to your mouth and eat the bread or wafer. Next is the wine. We use real wine and a common cup. When the chalice bearer comes to you, help guide the cup to your lips and take a sip. If you do not wish to consume wine, just cross your arms over your chest as the chalice bearer approaches you. If you want wine, but don’t want to drink from the cup, hold the bread in your fingers and the chalice bearer will hold the chalice so you may dip it in the wine. All who love God, most especially children, are welcome at the Lord’s Table for bread and wine. If you do not wish to have your child take communion, just have your child cross his or her arms across his or her chest. The priest will say a blessing. (This is true for adults too.)
Should I receive communion even though I don’t understand the meaning of it?
YES!Rational understanding is not a requirement for receiving the Sacrament. The Sacraments are a gift of grace to us. God’s grace does not depend upon our full understanding.
What if my child becomes disruptive?
We have been there before and understand. We are not bothered by it as much as you probably are. Therefore, are books, crayons and coloring books on the table in the rear of the church. Please feel free to use them and take them home.
What do I call the priest?
His official title is The Reverend Dr. Kevin D. Huddleston, which is a mouthful. You can call him Father Kevin or Father Huddleston or just plain Kevin, depending on what you prefer or are comfortable.
We follow one general principle:
ALL MAY, NONE MUST, SOME SHOULD!
Please ask anyone around you for help. You may also contact our Priest, The Reverend Dr. Kevin D. Huddleston at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to set up a time to visit with him and ask your specific questions.