Everything You Wanted to Know About Holy Eucharist but Were Afraid to Ask

Sunday, October 16, Emmanuel celebrated what is called an “instructed Holy Eucharist” at both the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services. In lieu of a homily, I “read between the lines” highlighting the history and theology behind the liturgical things we do in our corporate worship.

Liturgy literally means the “work of the people.” It is not meant to be the “performance of the few but the participation of the many.”

Anglican liturgy is rooted in the traditions of the Book of Common Prayer. Similar maybe to a catholic or protestant tradition in which you grew up but with a different accent and spiritual focus. The 17th c. theologian Richard Hooker profoundly said that it matters not so much what happens to the bread and wine in the Eucharist; what matters most is that those gathered around the altar be consecrated to be Christ’s Body and Blood, his hands, feet, and heart in a hurting world.

So, in a single liturgical hour (a sacrilege to go over!) I sought to answer some common questions about Holy Communion: Why do some people make the sign of the cross? What’s a “collect”? Why do the colors of the hangings change? And more!

It was fun and well received. Many folks took home the fully annotated bulletin. (Thank you Karen O’Hern for making it look so great!)

If you were there and would like to share an online version, or if you missed it and would like a copy of the service, click below to download. Feel free to share widely.

Pax vobiscum,


Spirituality The Episcopal Church

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The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog

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