The first time coming to a new Church can be a little intimidating, and so we want to share a bit about how services will unfold.
Depending on the time of day or the occasion, we will be worshipping according to one of the formats described below. We’ve outlined some details so that you can feel more at ease when you join us.
We feel truly blessed if you have chosen to worship with us. If you are seeking a church just for the one Sunday, we thank you for joining us, and pray that God be with you as you travel on your journey. But if you wish to become a regular parishioner in our community, we eagerly anticipate getting to know you better. See you in the coming weeks!
Whether you enter the Cathedral through the Great West Doors on Richmond Street or through the back entrance via either Clarence or Queens, there will always be someone there to greet you and hand you a bulletin for the day. Don't be afraid to tell our greeters that you are new, or to ask any questions. Our greeters are there to help you navigate your way into, and through Sunday morning at St. Paul’s.
If you have young children with you, and don't want to put them in the nursery or Sunday school, there are activity packages at both entrances for them. Just ask one of the greeters.
If you are hard of hearing, assisted listening devices are available from the greeters.
There is an accessible washroom with a baby changing table at the back of the church.
All of the pews have hymn books, bibles and service books; however, the bulletin will provide you with everything you need to know throughout the service.
Also in the pews are envelopes for you to use if you want to make a contribution during the offering. If you fill out your name and address, a charitable receipt will be mailed to you. Please know you are not obliged to make a donation.
Along with the envelope is a form you can fill out if you want a member of the Clergy to contact you privately. You can put it on the offering plate when it comes by, or hand it to one of the greeters after the service.
During the service you are welcome to stand, sit or kneel to pray – whatever feels comfortable to you. When it comes time for the reading of the Gospel, there will be a procession part-way down the centre aisle of the Cathedral. Everyone remains standing as they are able, and turns toward the reader to listen.
At Holy Communion services, just before the offering is “the Peace.” People around you will turn to you, will offer to shake your hand, and will say something like ‘God's Peace,’ or ‘Peace be with you.’ Please don’t feel intimidated by this; this is our way of sharing peace, grace and joy with one another.
Currently, every Sunday morning service includes Holy Communion. At St. Paul's, all who have been baptized are welcome to receive both the bread and the wine. Depending on the Sunday, Communion is served at both the High Altar and side Altars. The choice is yours. If kneeling is painful for you, you are welcome to stand to take Communion. If stairs are difficult, you may take Communion at the side Altar rather than the High Altar at the front.
As you stand or kneel at the Altar rail, please extend your hands to receive the bread. If you have a wheat or gluten sensitivity, Gluten-Free hosts are available. Please notify the Priest of your allergy by saying “Gluten-Free” – they will hand you a gluten-free host that has been sealed in a small bag. It is left to you to open the bag, to ensure that the host is not contaminated. You are not obliged to take the wine as well - the Eucharist is complete even if you only consume one of the two elements, either the bread or the wine.
If you do not wish to receive communion, you are invited to come forward to receive a blessing instead. If this is your wish, fold your hands over your chest when you come to kneel or stand at the altar rail. The Priest will place their hand on your head as they say a blessing, and may make the sign of the cross on your forehead.
After receiving Communion at the High Altar, you can return to your seat by way of the hall to the left of the Altar rail.
During the Communion, another Priest can be found in St. Aidan’s chapel, which is off the hallway leading to the back entrance, on the North side of the church. The Priest can offer up special prayers for healing or a particular concern, at your request. They will place their hand on your head or shoulder as they pray with you.
There is a coffee hour after both the 8:00am and 10:00am services. This usually takes place in Cronyn Hall – to get there, please exit the church by the door in the North-East corner (near the pulpit at the front, left), proceed past St. Aidan’s chapel, then turn left and go down the hall. Please plan to stay for a visit and a cup of coffee.
The Eucharist is celebrated twice every Sunday morning at St. Paul’s – the 8:00am service is said, and 10:00am service is lead by the choir. A said service is also offered on Wednesdays at 12:15pm. The Eucharist (or Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper) is the means by which Christ becomes present to the Christian community gathered in his name. It is the giving out of bread and wine which has been consecrated, or made holy, with special prayers.
All who have been baptized in any Christian denomination are welcome to receive both the bread and the wine.
Morning Prayer services take place each week day at St. Paul’s at 8:45am, meeting in St. Aiden’s Chapel at the Cathedral. A brief, said service, it is a lovely way to begin your day. Following the Book of Alternative Services, the service begins by giving us the opportunity to acknowledge our need for forgiveness, and to recognise that this has been granted. It invites us to praise God, to hear His word, to worship Him, and to bring our concerns to Him in prayer. As with Evening Prayer, the service ends with the Grace: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.”
If this service is sung by the Cathedral Choir, it is called Choral Mattins. At this time Mattins is rarely sung at St. Paul’s.
Evensong is an Evening Prayer service, only most of the service is sung by the Cathedral choir. There is no Eucharist; only sung prayers and psalms, readings, an anthem, hymns and a homily. It is an opportunity for members of the congregation to sit back and reflect, to let the Liturgy soak the senses as the Word is given the extra, beautiful dimension of music. When this service takes place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, we follow the order of service in The Book of Common Prayer.
Evensong services are held monthly at St. Paul’s, at 4:00pm on the third Sunday of each month, from September through June. The Cathedral Choir also travels around the Diocese of Huron to sing Evensong services roughly 12 times per year. Please consult the Events page for more details.
Compline is the final service of the day in the monastic Christian tradition. Compline is a quiet, contemplative service that emphasizes spiritual peace and is, above all, a service of quietness and reflection before attaining rest at the end of the day. Lead by a Cantor (a principal voice), the service is chanted in unison, with unaccompanied voices singing ancient hymns, psalms, readings and prayers.
This service is sung only on occasion at St. Paul’s – please watch the Events page for news.