If you wish to receive Holy Communion with us at St. John's, please come forward to the front of the church by following the direction of the ushers. They gently direct the congregation to come forward in an orderly fashion by pew. At most Sunday services, communion is offered at the altar rail (received kneeling or standing) and at the base of the the altar steps (received standing). As two lines move down the center aisle toward the front of the church, people in the left aisle tend to move to receive communion (standing) from the priest at the foot of the stairs and those on the right to move to the alter, but feel free to go from either line to either place.
At St. John's as in most Episcopal churches, we have the option to receive communion in "two kinds", the consecrated bread (wafer) and wine.
To receive the bread, kneel or stand at the altar rail or in front of the priest. Raise your crossed hands, palms up. The priest will place the wafer in your hands. You can either put the wafer in your mouth immediately or hold it to be dipped in the wine. If you wish to receive wine with the wafer, hold the wafer in one hand and carefully dip in into the cup (chalice) when it is offered. If you prefer to sip from the chalice, put the wafer in your mouth when you receive it, then, when the chalice is offered, place your hands on the bottom of the cup to gently help guide it to your lips.
If you wish to receive a blessing instead of communion, feel free to come forward with everyone else. In front of the priest kneel or stand and cross your arms across your chest with your fingers toward either shoulder. This is the common signal in Episcopal, Anglican, and many other churches that you wish only a blessing.
At the end of the Eucharist, the congregation prays once more in thanksgiving and then is dismissed to continue the life of service to God and to the World.