8am Holy Communion: what to expect
Our 8am service is Book of Common Prayer or BCP. This is the original service based largely on the services from 1548 and 1662 when the Church began to use English (rather than Latin). Each week we read from the same pages, and while it may seem like unusual language, you soon start to understand the meaning in the words. It feels very empowering to speak these important words, knowing that people have been doing so for centuries. A sermon is given which helps us think about how the stories from the Bible still resonate in our lives today; they are always food for thought.
Do not worry about not knowing the routine; we have a guide that helps you through, telling you which pages to turn to, and when to stand up or sit down! It soon feels like second nature. Many people like the repetitive nature of this weekly service; there is no singing, and it's a peaceful and reflective way to start the morning.
Communion is the sharing of bread and wine – part of Christian life from the earliest days. It is called by all of these names: Eucharist (from the Greek for ‘thanksgiving’), Mass (from the Latin for ‘Go home, we’ve finished’) and the Lord’s Supper. Church of England practice is that it is open to those who are baptised and have prepared for communion (often through confirmation) and ‘any who are in good standing’ in their own Christian tradition – which means if you would share communion in other churches you belong to you are welcome to do so with us. We always try to have gluten free wafers available but, at present, we do not offer a non-alcoholic alternative to communion wine. Anyone who would like to receive a blessing but not share the bread and wine is able to do so.