Worship

The Church of the Good Shepherd seeks to glorify God through sacramental worship. Our worship is shaped by the beautiful liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer, thought provoking, biblically based messages and inspirational music. Every element of our time in worship is designed to draw us closer to the heart of God.

The Church of the Good Shepherd gathers for worship in many different ways. Our primary form of worship is the service of Holy Eucharist, in which we sing, pray, hear scripture readings and a sermon, and partake in Holy Communion. We are pleased to offer differing styles and a variety of schedules, including weekday Contemporary Morning Prayer with the St. James Chapels,  Tuesday Midday Eucharist, Wednesday Evening Eucharist, and three Sunday services: Traditional Eucharist, Family Eucharist and Evening Eucharist.

How to Receive Holy Eucharist
All baptized Christians baptized are welcome to take Holy Communion. Come to the altar rail as the ushers direct and take the next available place. Our custom is to kneel at the rail, but you may stand if it is more comfortable. After receiving communion, please return to your pew through the side aisles. If you are unable to come to the altar rail, tell one of the ushers and a priest will bring communion to you.

Receiving the Bread and Wine
To receive the bread, place one hand over the other, palms up, so that the priest may put a wafer on your palm.  If you are going to drink from the chalice, you may consume the wafer immediately. When the chalice comes to you, you can help the chalice bearer guide it to your mouth by placing your hand on the bottom of the chalice and tilting it or by gently taking it in your hands and guiding it. If you choose to intinct (dip) the wafer in the wine, you will hold the wafer until the chalice comes to you. After receiving the sacraments, you may return to your seat through the side door and down the side aisle.

Receiving a Blessing
If you or your children would prefer to receive a blessing rather than communion, simply come forward to the altar rail and cross your arms across your chest as a signal to the priest.

All Children are Welcome to Receive Communinon
All baptized Christians – no matter their age – are encouraged to come to the altar rail for Holy Communion. Our young ones have a few options:

  • Some children prefer to receive only the bread. Receiving either the bread or wine is considered full communion.
  • Those children who prefer not to receive communion may receive a blessing instead by immediately crossing their arms across their chest.
  • Some parents allow their children to receive communion only after they have completed first communion instruction. Please note that we do offer Communion Instruction for children of any age who is ready to receive communion. Children are encouraged to participate in this class to deepen their understanding of the high point of the worship experience.  This class is usually offered in January.

All Children Are Welcome in Church
Children bring much richness to our worship community. Here are a few ways to make church a more pleasant experience for everyone:

  • Come early to get a good seat, preferably where children can see.
  • Share your Worship Booklet with young ones and help them follow along with the prayers and music.
  • Be realistic. Young children cannot be expected to sit quietly all the time. Elementary-age children, however, have longer attention spans and can be expected to participate fully in the liturgy with your help.
  • Children’s activity sheets and coloring pencils are available in the Narthex of The Church to occupy little hands and make church a more welcoming place for children. These sheets have a word search, Bible verse and other activities that coincide with the lesson of the day to keep your children busy during the worship service.
  • The Nursery is available for infants from 0 – 2 years of age.
  • Children’s Chapel is offered during our 10:30 a.m. service.  It is located on the opposite side of the Courtyard for children ages 3 through 2nd grade.  The children will be brought into the sanctuary to sit with their parents before communion.
  • Rocking Chairs are available in the Side Narthex if you would like a quiet spot to be with your infant.