Holy Communion & Baptism
Guidelines for Communicants when receiving Holy Communion at All Saints Anglican Church
(As taken from St. Augustine’s Prayer Book and adapted for use at St. George’s Anglican Church, Raleigh, North Carolina. Used with permission of St. George’s Anglican Church)
Three times a year is the least that any Christian should receive Holy Communion. A good rule is to receive once a week on a Sunday or other day. The ideal is daily Communion.
It is a sacrilege to receive Holy Communion when one is in a state of serious sin. In order to avoid this, we are commanded by the Apostle, St. Paul, to examine ourselves before receiving. If there is any serious doubt as to our spiritual condition, we should go to confession before receiving the Holy Sacrament.
On receiving Holy Communion, please follow these simple guidelines:
1. Women should remove gloves and veils before going to the Altar.
2. Genuflect (or bow) in the aisle on leaving your pew. You do not need to genuflect at the Altar rail or after you receive your Communion. Keep your eyes down and your hands joined in going to and from the Altar.
3. Go to the Altar rail on the same side of the Church (Epistle or Gospel) on which you are sitting. No crossing over, please.
4. Kneel as close to the person on your right (whether on the Epistle or Gospel side of the chancel) so as not to waste room.
5. Kneel upright at the rail without leaning over.
6. Receive the Lord’s Body in one of either of two ways: a. Into the palm of your right hand, making the left hand a support for the right, the hands lifted up as high as the lips, if possible. Never take the Host into your fingers or snatch it from the Priest. Consume the Host as soon as it is given to you, unless you wish to receive by intinction, then leave the Host in the palm of your right hand. (see #9 below. b. Directly on your tongue. Tip your head well back and extend your tongue over your lower teeth. (This is the only time you’re allowed to stick your tongue out at the Priest, Deacons, or even the Bishop). Close your eyes. As soon as the Priest has put the Host on your tongue, withdraw your tongue and close your mouth.
7. Do not chew the Sacred Host. It will dissolve quickly.
8. Receive the Chalice by guiding it to your lips by the base with your right hand only. Take a sip of the Precious Blood. Do not wipe your mouth after receiving the Chalice.
9. If you wish to receive by intinction, leave the Host in the palm of your right hand. The Priest (or Deacon) will come by, take the Host from you, dip it into the Chalice, and then you receive both the Blessed Body and Blood on your tongue, as described in 6b above.
10. Leave the Altar rail as soon as the person on your left has received the Chalice, returning to your pew by way of the side aisles on the side of the Church (Gospel or Epistle) on which your were previously sitting. Again, no crossing over or going back up the main aisle, please.
11. When you return to your place in your pew, kneel quietly, beginning your prayers of praise and thanksgiving for the great Gift you have received from God and find the Communion hymn in the hymnal.
GOD: We believe that the one true God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that these, being one God, are equal in deity, power, and glory. Psalm 104; Psalm 139; Matthew 10:29-31; 28:19; Acts 17:24-28; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:9-12; 4:4-6; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6.
JESUS: We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, that He was conceived and born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and sacrificed Himself to be punished in substitution for sinners. By the blood of His cross and His resurrection from the dead, He obtained for us eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. He was raised bodily and ascended to the right hand of the Father. He will return to the earth personally and visibly to consummate His kingdom. Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-18; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:10-14; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11;Hebrews 7:25; 9:13-15; 10:19; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 1 John 2:1
THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit regenerates and forever indwells all Christians. Either subsequently or at the same moment, Jesus Christ baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit to empower believers for ministry and witness. We also believe that signs and wonders, as well as all the gifts of the Spirit described in the New Testament, are operative today and are designed to testify to the presence of the kingdom and to empower and edify the church to fulfill its calling and mission. These gifts are subject to judging and are to confirm, and never
supersede, what has been revealed in the Bible. Joel 2:28; Matthew 3:11; John 1:12-13; Acts 1:8; Acts 8:14-16; John 7:37-39; Romans 8:9; 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 14:29; Eph 1:13-14; 5:18.
SIN: We believe Adam was created in the image of God, righteous and without sin. In consequence of his disobedience, all people are born subject to sin and are therefore by nature and choice justly condemned in the sight of God, unable to save themselves or to contribute in any way to their acceptance with God. Genesis 1-3; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:5; Romans 3:9-18; 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3.
SALVATION: We believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ritual, work, or any other activity is required in order to be saved. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight in order that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. John 1:12-13; 6:37-44; 10:25-30; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 3-4; 8:1-17,31-39; 10:8-10; 1 Corinthians 1:4–8; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 1:7,9.
WATER BAPTISM & COMMUNION: We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are to be observed until the time of Christ’s return. They are not a means of salvation. Baptism in water is by immersion and a direct commandment of our Lord for believers only. Water baptism is a symbol of the Christian’s identification with Christ in death, burial and resurrection. Matthew 26:26-29; 28:19; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-11; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34; Col 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21.
THE CHURCH: We believe that the church is God’s primary instrument through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching gifts to the church. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every Christian being joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints. God has called the church to preach the gospel to all nations, and especially to remember the poor and to minister to their needs through sacrificial giving and practical service. Matthew 16:17-19; Acts 2:17-18,42; Ephesians 3:14-21; 4:11-16; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5,9-10.