What to expect
Worship at Grace, and throughout the Episcopal Church, follows catholic tradition in its emphasis on the sacraments, especially Eucharist and Baptism. Eucharist means “thanksgiving,” and it combines readings from the Bible, a sermon, creedal declarations of belief, confession and prayers (the Liturgy of the Word) with the Holy Communion. Grace celebrates Holy Eucharist at every Sunday morning service throughout the year, and on other festive occasions such as Christmas Day. All who desire to receive Christ’s sacramental presence are warmly invited to receive communion at Grace, though no one is pressured to do so.
Services use a pre-set and printed order that makes it easy for everyone to follow along and participate.
Grace’s services respect the dignity and tradition that inform Christian worship of all varieties, but also encourage informality and warmth. Ordained clergy generally, though not always, lead worship. Lay leaders participate extensively in the Eucharist, because the Episcopal Church subscribes to the Reformation doctrine that the church is a “kingdom of priests.” Please find below more detailed descriptions of special lay ministries in the Eucharist.
Eucharistic Ministries at Second Sunday Service (10:30).
At Grace Church the Holy Eucharist is celebrated every Sunday. The communion ministers are responsible for the distribution of the communion wine, preparing the altar for communion, removing and cleaning the vessels after the service. The preparing of the altar, removing and cleaning the vessels is typically part of the duties of the altar guild in other churches. The goal is to have two communion ministers for each service. One of the communion ministers must arrive about fifteen to twenty minutes before the service to prepare the altar. The second communion minister usually is responsible for cleaning up, also about a fifteen or twenty minute job. Training is provided for those who are interested. We prepare a schedule every six months and the rotation is about every 6 weeks.
The Servers (acolytes) group at Grace comprises both adults and youth. A server should arrive in time to be robed, light the candles, process in with the clergy carrying the cross at the beginning of the service, and assist during the service. Training is also provided for those who are interested. A schedule is prepared every six months and the rotation is about every 6–8 weeks.
Lay readers perform the duty of reading the scripture lessons of the Sunday from the lectionary.The readings are mailed out to the lay readers a week before their scheduled time to read, so that they may practice if they wish. No special training is needed but certainly some guidance could be given to help in a smooth and meaningful reading of the lessons. Since many people enjoy reading, even with a rotation list, most people don’t come up more than two to four times a year. If one would like to read more often, one can substitute for another reader.
COVID-19 Gathering Safety Protocols
For your safety and the safety of all our parishioners, visitors, and staff, we follow these procedures as required by the Diocese of Washington:
- Everyone is welcome but not required to wear a mask.
- If you would like to wear a mask, we reccommend you bring your own. Some may be available in the Sanctuary, but we cannot guarantee availability.
- We will continue to provide contact tracing sheets, that you may fill out when entering the sanctuary.
- Social Distancing and fist/elbow-bumps will be encouraged along with friendly bows from a distance.
Eucharist (Communion) Protocols
Everyone is invited to receive Holy Communion. Communion will be distributed by the priest standing below the altar steps, center aisle. Please approach the priest by the center aisle.
You may receive the bread (wafer) only, or you may have your wafer partially dipped into the wine by the priest. The priest will place the wafer in your hand. Gluten free wafers are available by request.
We have resumed use of the common cup, and will be serving wine. The priest or communion server will approach with the cup, and you may sip. The chalice will be wiped clean after each person is served.
If you prefer not to receive communion, please cross your arms across your torso for the priest to bless you. Please return to your seat by the side aisle.