What To Expect

When you first arrive

When you come to All Saints of the Desert you will be greeted by a parishioner and handed the Service Bulletin for that week's worship - the Service Bulletin contains the entire text for the service, we try to make it as easy as possible for everyone, whether you are an old pro or coming for the first time, to participate in worship.

We follow a liturgy (a structured way to worship each week that we share with other Episcopal Churches throughout the world. Our liturgy includes time for the reading of God's Holy Word (each week we have one reading from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the New Testament and the Gospel.) There is a sermon followed by prayers and intercessions. The peak of our worship each week is receiving Holy Communion together.

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. We invite you to dress in whatever way you feel is comfortable and appropriate.

Kneel, Stand or sit?

If you are new to the episcopal church, you will quickly discover that we do a lot of sitting, standing, and kneeling at various times in the worship service. Generally, we stand or kneel for prayer, set for instruction, and stand for praise. Feel free to follow along with the congregation but know that you are not required to do so. Please do what feels good and natural for you and your abilities.

Communion FAQ

If you're new to the Episcopal Church, taking Communion can be confusing. Here are some common questions and their answers.

I'm not an Episcopalian. Can I take Communion?

Yes! Here at All Saints of the Desert we believe all are welcome at the Lord's Table - no one will ever be denied. If for any reason, you don't want to receive Communion, you are invited to come forward for a blessing during Communion - simply cross your arms over your chest and the priest will say a prayer of blessing for you.

How do I take Communion?

After the priest invites the congregation to receive Communion, the lay ministers will receive Communion around the altar. After that, the ushers will invite the congregation, row by row, to come forward and receive Communion. You may kneel or stand to receive communion, simply put your hands out to receive the bread. Once you have received the bread, you should consume it. The chalice of wine will then be presented. We receive wine from the common cup. After receiving Communion, please return to your pew along the side aisles.

Do I have to drink the wine?

No. If you do not want to drink the wine, cross your arms over your chest after receiving the bread. This lets the minister know to not offer you wine. We believe that the entire benefit of the sacrament is received through the bread alone.

What if my mobility is limited?

Please let an usher know and the priest will happily bring Communion to you where you are seated.

Do you have gluten-free wafers?

Yes. When the priest comes to you, simply request "Gluten free," and you will be provided a GF wafer.

What if I drop my wafer?

Don't worry! This happens all the time. The priest or lay minister will pick it up. Since it has been consecrated, it will not be thrown in the trash. Rather, the priest or minister will consume it and you will be given another wafer.

What do Episcopalians believe happens in Communion?

In the Episcopal Church, the Holy Eucharist is also known as Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper. Eucharist comes from the Greek words meaning "good" and "gift." It literally means "Thanksgiving." The Holy Eucharist is the way Jesus himself has given us to remember and enter again into the events of Jesus' atoning death and glorious resurrection - the greatest expression of God's gracious love for us. In this meal, we are reminded that we are one Body, united to God and one another. As we eat and drink as one family, we dwell in Jesus, and he in us.

Episcopalians have a wide range of beliefs on what actually happens to the bread and wine. Traditionally, we do not adhere to what is called Transubstantiation (in which the bread and wine actually become the real body and blood of Christ). We do, however believe that Christ is present in a mysterious way as we eat the bread and drink the wine, remembering his death and resurrection for us. If you have questions about this, or any other matter of theology please contact the rector.