The Church of England website explains: “Worship lies at the heart of the Christian life. It is in worship that we express our theology and define our identity. It is through encountering God within worship that we are formed (and transformed) as his people.
One of the glories of the Church of England is its liturgical worship. Liturgy refers to the patterns, forms, words and actions through which public worship is conducted” (https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources)
PARISH COMMUNION is our main act of worship, celebrated each Sunday in two or three churches within the team.
The liturgy used for this service is from Common Worship which was brought into use in 2000. Although much of the liturgy and prayers are centuries old, the language is modern and is regarded by some as more accessible. In all our Parish Communions, we include various well-known (and a few lesser well-known) hymns and a sermon that hopefully makes us think and maybe even challenge us at times.
Our services follow the seasons of the Church year with seasonal variations in our liturgy adding to the richness of our worship.
After the opening prayers, we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, and then, with thankful hearts for God’s grace and forgiveness, we give glory to God in the words of the angels at Bethlehem: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
We then move to the Liturgy of the Word where we hear readings from the Old and New Testaments before standing to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. After a sermon, we declare our faith in our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As the people of God, we offer prayers for the church, the world, our community, those in need and the faithful departed, bringing to God those close to our hearts.
We move into the Liturgy of the Sacrament with sharing the Peace. Sharing the Peace is a tradition rooted in Scripture that embodies our identity as peacemakers. Jesus in the Beatitudes calls us all to be peacemakers “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matt. 5:9) and helps us to trains ours hearts, minds, and tongues in the ways of peace. Sharing the Peace is also a way for us to actively follow Christ’s example, for Christ Himself greeted his disciples on the morning of His resurrection with “Peace be with you” (Luke 24:36).
We then come to the heart of our Parish Communion, our special prayer of thanksgiving, or ‘Eucharistic Prayer’ (eucharistia means ‘to give thanks’ in Greek). This is offered by the priest who presides at the service in the name of all who are gathered, giving thanks for all that God has given us in Christ. We then receive Communion, the Real Presence of Christ in the bread and the wine. For those who do not wish to receive communion, we always welcome you to come up to the altar for a blessing.
After receiving Communion, we thank God for the wonderous gift of His Son, receive a blessing and are sent out with the words Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, to remind us that our Christian faith and worship is not limited to Sunday mornings, but is a living faith every minute, of every day of our lives.
Please see the Order of Service for Parish Communion.
For more information about worship in the Church of England, please do look at the Church of England website; https://www.churchofengland.org/our-faith/what-we-believe/eucharist
If you would like to talk to one of the ministry team about our worship please do not hesitate to get in touch through the ‘Contact us’ part of the website.