A Teaching Eucharist

Church News | Sunday, 18 June 2017 |

By Joan

The meanings of the Eucharist service explained

The meanings of the Eucharist service explained

Today’s 10.30am Service was entitled ‘Teaching Eucharist for the church family’. The service was to be held in the usual way, but at each stage we were to be enlightened as to how and why each part of the service was to be conducted. Rev’d Carolyn began the service by explaining that in all the six years she has spent at St Mary’s she has never held a ‘teaching’ Eucharist and thought it about time she did. She was joined this morning by Rev’d Anne and Rev’d Julie who play an important part in the majority of the Eucharist services.

I am sure I speak for many people when I say that I couldn’t envisage our beautiful Eucharist service being continually halted whilst an explanation was inserted, but I need not have been concerned as the service flowed beautifully and we gleaned a lot of information that we may not have known before. Little things such as, why the hymn sang just before the Gospel reading is called the ‘Gradual’ hymn, and why only a priest can perform the ‘Blessing’ or why only a priest or curate reads the Gospel at a Eucharist Service, after making the sign of 4 crosses before reading the passage, one cross on the bible, one on their forehead, one on their lips and one on their heart. We were told about how the Peace used to be conducted and how it is now, and how the ‘Offertory hymn’ can give the congregation a chance to make an offering to the life and work of the church.

Rev’d Carolyn said that she would not give a sermon but did explain that a sermon is usually based on the lectionary readings and that it can help the congregation to understand and perhaps relate the Word of God to their day to day lives.

The service continued with short explanations regarding the Eucharist itself and it was just delightful to learn that when the Holy Spirit is summoned, the priest can form their hands into the shape of a dove which is often used to represent the Holy Spirit. Rev’d Carolyn, also gave a meaningful and gentle explanation as to why children were not offered the consecrated bread and wine saying that for such a significant act, she would prefer to wait until the children are of an age when they truly understand what promises they make at Confirmation, and for the time being she would rather give them a special blessing and let them enjoy being children until such time as they are ready.

Such a beautiful and special service, so full of meaningful and dedicated information…

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