Week Two - Worship and the Eucharist

There was a wedding here yesterday. This is a joke about a wedding. You can laugh. A little girl finally got to attend a wedding for the first time, while in the Church, the girl asked her mother, why is the bride dressed in white, the mother replied to the girl and said, it’s because white is the colour of happiness and it's the happiest day of her life.

After a little bit the girl looks up at her mother and says, but why then is the groom wearing black?

Another joke; shortly after they tied the knot a young married couple started arguing over who should make the coffee. Being a good Christian woman the wife went to the scriptures for her answer.

She said that the Bible specifically stated that men could be the ones to make the coffee puzzled the husband asked her where in the Bible it said that. Very confidently the wife opened up her Bible and said it's right here He-brews.

One more. During a Sunday school lesson a child learned about how God created human beings, the child became especially focused when the teacher explained how Eve was created from Adam's ribs. Later in the week, the boy's mother saw him lying down on the floor so she asked him what was wrong. His reply was priceless, mum I have a pain in my side, I think I'm getting a wife.

So why are we all here today not to hear the jokes I'm sure of that. What makes you come to this the service on Sunday morning, to this church. Is it the coffee served afterwards or perhaps meeting up with friends that you haven't seen since last week or perhaps it's the Visionary electrifying and lengthy sermons that this church has to offer if it is the latter I won't disappoint you, I have a very long in-depth deeply theological, highly spiritual and very, very lengthy sermon right here for you now. Don't Panic it's none of those things, it's just long.

Seriously why do we come regularly to this church or any other Church but of course it is to worship, but what is worship and why do we do it collectively?

True worship is fundamentally an experience of the heart and we probably find this easier to do together, perhaps alone we can't find the words to express our feelings to God, but when together our expression isn't just ours, it's made stronger because everyone is sharing it.

Somehow God seems to be stronger and closer to us in worship that is scripted and said together, but worship shouldn't become an excuse not to use personal prayer.

In fact it should encourage us to talk meaningfully to God, because prayer is a conversation with our Father, and a means for our father to speak to us. I'm sure you know there are many services authorised by the Anglican Church

there is one this evening at St Cyr’s, Evensong. This is a beautiful service Evensong is a service which is held at many Cathedrals and churches that provide a restful, peaceful and contemplative time at the end of the day.

It is for that reason even song is the perfect opportunity to relax after a busy day, it of course always gives you another opportunity to hear this sermon in full. There is Mattins, not very common anymore fundamentally it's Evensong written for the morning. Then there is Compline, it is said at the end of the day it is a beautiful service of reflection and prayer. There are other services for occasions like weddings, funerals, ordinations, licensing and many others.

For me, the most important one is the one that we are in the middle of now.

I am an Anglo-Catholic so what is an Anglo-Catholic? The term Anglo-Catholicism describes a range of theological views and traditions within Anglicanism which emphasise the continuity of the Church of England and those churches born out of it. With the teachings and practice of Christianity throughout the ages, rooted in it.

Scripture and the teachings of the early church.

Anglo-Catholics always value the sacramental life of the church, adhering strongly to Doctrine such as the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist which makes worship as an Anglo-Catholic an experience which is intended to appeal to one's whole person, to heart as well as head such as the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. For me it is simple I worship God in words prayer and hymns, but the essence of my worship is the Holy Eucharist for me that is the climax. For me the Eucharist service is a means of preparation for the moment I receive the Bread and Wine and hear the words the body of Christ, the blood of Christ.

It is I believe, that is the most holy and spiritual time of this service the moment I share in the body and blood of Our Lord. Christ said to his disciples,

do this in remembrance of me. Those words said in the Eucharist service are so special for me it encompasses my life,

To me those words are the essence of my belief, that Christ died for me, for all of us. I feel that the whole Eucharist service is a vehicle for us to express our love and gratitude to God Our Saviour and to prepare us for that moment when we when we received the body and blood of Christ.

I try for a moment during the administration of the elements, to think of the agony that Christ went through, for all of us on Earth it is a very humbling moment.

Now I fully accept that there are there are other ways people treat the Eucharist service, and I applaud that, we are all different. God made us so; therefore we have many ways of worshiping God and that is the strength of the Anglican communion that it offers us the freedom to express the ways that suit our individual temperament but never forget that Christ died for us in humiliation and agony and hung on a cross for hours for us.

There are many forms of worship that allow us to come together to worship our Lord and our God, all are different and I am sure that, as has happened in the past they will change to recognise the times in which we live, that is a good thing for the church has to be relevant to its people, because the Church of God are its people.

The people make it what it is and we are God's people, however it is in the Eucharist service when we all come together, that we remember the act of the pure love of God for us, the sharing of the Bread and Wine is truly a humbling and empowering moment and is an inspiration to us all of Christ’s gift to us of his sacrifice, which ensures eternity for all who believe.


Ken Hitchings

Please note that the text above is taken from the YouTube service transcript, and the video is below.

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