Frequently Asked Questions
We are often asked “What should I wear?” and “Can I take Communion?” St. James wants you to feel welcome and comfortable from the moment you arrive. Here are some things you might find helpful if you are planning to visit.
What to wear
It’s up to you. Some come dressed in their “Sunday best” while others prefer more casual attire such as jeans and a nice shirt. The same goes for children. We invite you and your family to dress in whatever way you feel is comfortable and appropriate.
All baptized Christians are welcome to take Communion in the Episcopal Church. When it is time for you to go forward to the altar rail, an usher will direct your row. Proceed to the altar rail, and take the next available spot. Our custom is to kneel, but standing is fine if you are more comfortable that way. Hold your right hand on top of your left, palms facing up, and receive the wafer (gluten-free wafers are available, just ask for one before the service begins.) You may immediately eat the wafer or wait and dip it in the wine. To sip the wine from the chalice, guide it to your lips with your hand on the base of the chalice. Receiving just the bread or wine alone is considered full communion. When you are done, you can return to your seat. If you are unable to come to the rail, please let an usher know, and we will bring Communion to you. All baptized children are welcome to receive communion. You or your child are also welcome to a blessing if you would prefer that instead. Simply come to the rail or altar, kneel if you like, and cross your arms over your chest.
Moving about during services
Even life-long Episcopalians will ask, “When is it okay to move about the sanctuary if I need to leave?” Our general rule is that if you can wait until the sequence hymn or before the Gospel reading or during the Passing of the Peace, those are the best times. We understand, especially if you have children with you, this may not always be possible. Quietly entering or exiting the sanctuary can also be done when everyone is singing or standing. It’s best to avoid entering or leaving the worship area during prayer so as not to disrupt others.