What to expect on Sunday
We have two Sunday Services at St Barts. The earlier service is at 8:15 am. It is a communion service (Holy Eucharist) and there is no music. The older prayer book, the Book of Common Prayer, is always used for this service. There is a sermon. The entire service takes about 45-50 minutes.
Our second service is at 10:30 am. It includes hymns, participatory service music, soloist and choral music. The choir and organist support the service. Again the service is always with communion. On the first Sunday of each month we use the Book of Common Prayer and on the other Sundays the service in contemporary English.
Summer services - from July to the Sunday before Labour Day we have one service only at 9:30. The summer service follows the 10:30 pattern described. There is no Sunday School or nursery provided during the summer but children are welcome.
From September to June we offer Sunday School (ages 3-12) and a Nursery for children under 3.
What to expect when you get inside
When you enter the church, either from the main entrance or the church hall entrance, you will be given a bulletin with the details of the service. The bulletin directs you to one of three books in the seats or pews. We have a blue hymn book, a small red Book of Common Prayer and the contemporary green Book of Alternate Services.
We try to make the flow of the service clear and understandable even if it is your first time with us.
Where to sit
You may sit wherever you like, there is no assigned seating.
If you have children
Everyone including children are welcome to be in church for the entire service. However we offer a Nursery in the church hall for children under 3 during the 10:30 service. We have a paid experienced person in charge of our nursery. You will be asked to fill out a short form with your child’s name and of course your name. There are changing tables in both washrooms in the church hall.
Children from 3-12 are welcome in the Sunday School. You may register your children at any point from September-June. If you are just visiting or “trying out” St Barts take you child to one of our Sunday School teachers in the church hall and introduce yourself to them before the service. The best time for this is approximately 10:15. The children join the main service at about the 45 minute mark when everyone takes communion.
St Bart’s church itself and hall are all on one level and accessible from either of the two entrances on MacKay St. We have two accessible washrooms in the church hall.
We have no designated spot for wheelchairs but they are welcome in the aisle or near the front of the church by the piano. Walkers too are welcome and people often store them in the small room next to the church, the vestry. The sidespersons will help with storing them and retrieving them.
There are three steps up to the altar where the majority receive communion. Every Sunday the Priest also comes down to give communion those who prefer to remain on the main level.
Audio assistance — we have a number of sets of audio helpers that will receive the sound from the speakers and play them into earphones. You may use our earphones or bring your own. Just ask the sidesperson for one of the receivers.
How to Take Communion
When the time to take communion arrives you are welcome to come forward to the altar rail. The sidespersons will give you a signal. There are three steps up to the altar rail where the majority receive communion. Every Sunday the Priest also comes down to give communion those who prefer to remain on the main level.
You may stand or kneel to receive communion. The priest will place the communion wafer in your hands and you are meant to eat it right away. Another person will come with the cup of wine. It is best to help the chalicebearer by gently guiding the cup to your lips. If for any reason you do not wish to drink the wine just cross your arms or shake you head. Be assured that by taking just the wafer you have received the full communion.
If you do not wish to take communion but would like the priest to give you a blessing come forward, standing or kneeling and cross your arms as the priest comes to you and he or she will give you an individual blessing.
Gluten free wafers are available, please indicate this to the priest when he/she comes to give you the wafer
Children Receiving Communion
Children are welcome to receive communion with parental approval. (It is not necessary to be “confirmed” to receive communion.)
What should I wear?
Long gone are the days when only your “Sunday best” would do. For the most part, we simply suggest comfortable clothing.
We encourage you to ask questions or seek more information. Please introduce yourself to our clergy if we have not already greeted you. Our Rector will be happy to respond to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) queries or phone calls to the church (613-745-7834).