A WARM WELCOME AWAITS YOU!
We are an active parish, a worshiping community involved in many aspects of Christian living in West Palm Beach: fellowship, study, music, community outreach and spiritual growth. Holy Spirit acknowledges our mission: “We will Boldly live out the Love of Christ and share God's Grace through Open Hands and Hearts.” Our most important endeavor is to worship God and we would be pleased to have you come worship with us. If you have never worshiped in an Episcopal Church before, do not be surprised if, at first, you are confused by all the books and bulletins we use. We will try to help you, but feel free to just listen at first, if you wish. You will soon appreciate how the prayers, readings, music, and activities at the altar aid us in our approach to God
To help you participate in our worship, here are a few helpful hints:
The blue book in front of you is our Hymnal. The hymns sung are listed in the bulletin and on the Hymn Board in the front of the church. If you see an “S” in front of a hymn, that is Service Music which is found in the front of the Hymnal.
The Book of Common Prayer
The red book is our Book of Common Prayer (BCP). It is the treasure of the Episcopal Church, for in it are found all of the Church’s public liturgies as well as additional prayers for private use. You will find today’s Service in the BCP beginning at the page listed in the bulletin. Please join fully in the service with us. “Liturgy”, another word for our worship, comes from the Greek and means “the work of the people”. We are all a part of the celebration!
The Holy Eucharist
The Eucharist, the principal service in this Church, is divided into two parts: The Word of God and Holy Communion. You can find each section in the Prayer Book by turning to the pages listed in the bulletin.
The Word of God
During this first part of the service, we will say prayers and a Psalm (from the Prayer Book on the listed pages); hear readings from the Bible (found on the insert); and hear a sermon. We will also reaffirm our faith by saying the Creed and singing hymns. All of this will correspond to a particular “theme” for the day. The Word of God concludes with the exchange of the Peace, at which time we greet those around us with the words, “The peace of the Lord be with you”. An appropriate response would be, “And also with you”. After this, we offer to God our monetary gifts as tangible symbols of our life and labor, and the gifts of bread and wine. Together, these are brought to the altar by the Ushers as the congregation sings praise to God.
Then follows The Great Thanksgiving, the consecration of the bread and wine and the congregation’s reception of the Sacrament. Christianity has celebrated this Rite for nearly 2,000 years, since the Last Supper on the night before Jesus’ Crucifixion. Because the beginning of this section varies from time-to-time, you may want to check your bulletin for page numbers and listen to short weekly prayers inserted by the Celebrant. All baptized Christians are invited to approach the altar to receive the Sacrament. Simply wait for the Usher to approach your pew and follow those in front of you. The tradition at Holy Spirit is to kneel at the altar railing, if possible, and place your right hand in your left, palm up. The Host, accompanied by the words,“The Body of Christ, the Bread of Heaven” will be placed in your palm and you may respond “Amen” before lifting it to your mouth. Next, the Chalice, accompanied by the words, “The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation”, will be brought to you. It is very helpful to the one administering the Chalice if you will guide it to your lips.“Amen” as an appropriate response. If you do not wish to receive the Chalice, you can indicate this by crossing your arms when it is brought to you. If you wish to have the Host dipped in the Chalice (intinction), instead of drinking directly from the Chalice, hold the Host you receive in your outstretched hands until the Chalice Bearer reaches you. The Chalice Bearer will then take the Host from you and “intinct” the Host in the wine and place it on your tongue. When leaving the altar, return to your pew by the side aisle.
After the Service
After the Blessing and procession from the altar, the Eucharist will conclude with a dismissal, to which the congregation will leave by the center aisle where there is an opportunity to be greeted by the Celebrant. Please join us in our Parish Hall, through the double doors in the rear of the church, for refreshments and conversation. Please do not hesitate to introduce yourself to us. It is a pleasure to have you with us and we want you to feel as welcome as possible.