The service now moves into the portion were Bread and Wine are offered to God so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of Christ.
A short Chant called the Offertory will be sung.
During the Offertory Hymn Bread and Wine are brought to the altar by the Faithful, along with monies collected. The Priest (or Deacon) will prepare the Altar. Finally the Altar with the Bread and Wine will be censed.
The Priest will lead the Congregation through the Intercession which is a series of Prayers for the Church Militant, that is, the Church here on Earth.
The Priest will now invite the Faithful to Confess their sins to God. The Priest, in the name of God, will absolve the Faithful of their sins.
A series of four scripture passages will now be said to remind the faithful that their sins have been forgiven.
The Priest now goes through a series of sung and spoken prayers so that the Bread and Wine present will become the Body and Blood of Christ
Once the Consecration by the Priest has been completed, the Peace of Christ will be exchanged. Unlike more contemporary services were the congregation will generally move around to give each other the Peace, in our more Traditional service the Peace is exchanged only verbally between the Priest and the Congregation.
Prayer of Humble Access
Once the Peace has been exchanged the Priest will lead the people through the Prayer of Humble Access. This is a prayer in which those intending to Commune will meekly ask God to receive the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Before beginning the Communion of the Faithful there is a short Chant that is called the Communion Chant. It usually consists of short sung refrain taken from scripture.
Communion of the Faithful
The Faithful will now come forward to the Altar Railing to partake of the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. The Body of Christ is received in a small, thin piece of bread called a host while the Precious Blood is received through wine in a Chalice.
St. Stephen’s, as a Parish of the Anglican Church of Canada, practices a form of “Open Communion”. If you are a Christian that has been Baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit you are more than welcome to receive the Blessed Sacrament. If you wish to kneel to receive the Blessed Sacrament you are more than welcome to do so, however, you can remain standing as well. You will receive the Host directly into your hand at which point you can place it in your mouth to consume. You will receive the Wine in a Chalice. While it is a common cup it is made of precious metal and wiped each time so it is actually very hygienic.
Please do NOT dip the Host into the Wine as germs on your fingers can get into the Wine. This method of receiving the Blessed Sacrament, better known as Intinction, is not allowed per a Diocesan directive because it is unhygienic.
If you have not been Baptized or do not wish to receive the Blessed Sacrament you can still come forward to the Altar Railing to receive a Blessing.
The Lord’s Prayer
Once the Communion of the Faithful has been completed the Priest and the Congregation will recite the more familiar version of the Lord’s Prayer that includes the Doxology “For thine is the Kingdom…”
Post Communion Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Priest will now a say a Prayer of Thanksgiving for those receiving the Blood and Body of Christ.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
Then is sung the hymn “Glory be to God on High…” This is omitted during the seasons of Advent and Lent, and sometimes replaced with another short hymn during said seasons.
The Priest will then give a blessing to the Congregation
The Recessional Hymn
As at the beginning of the Mass we had the Procession of the Altar Party, the Choir and Sacred Ministers they must now recess and do so during the singing of the final hymn called the Recessional Hymn.
The Mass formally ends with the Deacon (or another Minster) giving a Dismissal thus sending the assembled Congregation into the world for the week until they assemble next. Usually the Dismissal is the Second Collect for Maundy Thursday:
O GOD, who in a wonderful sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy passion: Grant us so to reverence the holy mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that we may ever know within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption; who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.