It is our hope that as soon as you arrive you will feel the warm welcome of this parish community. Here are few things about which you might be curious:
Although we are an Anglican parish, many of our members are from other faith traditions- United Church of Canada, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, and so many more. We welcome everyone and embrace our diversity as another gift from our Creator. No matter what faith tradition you may be from, or if you have no faith tradition, you are more than welcome!
St. Mary Magdalene is a diverse church in so many ways and what we wear each Sunday is one of those ways! Above all we want you to be comfortable. This is Mayne Island and as you may have found, this is a casual and comfortable community. Wear what feels good to you and you will fit right in. Some people will wear their “Sunday Best” while others will be in everything from casual to jeans.
When you arrive: Parking
There is ample parking, with some areas closer to the door than others. If you find it easier to be dropped off right at the door, that is fine. Most people enter by the main door (on the ocean side of the building). But some of our folks feel it is easier to enter by the vestry door (along the side of the church nearest the parking lot). The vestry door has no stairs, so it is the wise choice for some. Handicap parking spaces are available as well.
The Usher Will Welcome You
We don’t pounce, but we do want you to feel welcomed and are ready to answer any questions you may have. Ushers will offer you a service bulletin and can answer your questions. You will be invited to sign our guest book, if you wish to do so.
Sunday morning worship begins at 10:00 am. At various times through the year, we also have additional services during the week. These additional services will be listed on the church calendar on this web site.
We are quite relaxed and don’t want you to miss any part of our worship, but if you arrive a little late, please feel free to come on in, anyway! You can always join the worship after we have begun. Ushers will be sitting at the door near the back of the worship space to welcome you. Our Sunday service usually lasts about an hour, after which we have a coffee and tea time in Church House (the other building on the site).
As the church was built in 1898, there are washrooms only in Church House- which is open before, during and after the service. Please feel free to leave the service at any time that you wish to do so, and then come back in at your convenience. We are a very casual lot- no one will be offended.
Once you enter the worship space, choose a seat anywhere you feel most comfortable. There are no “assigned” seats. Here you will notice our diverse parish family, as some will be happily greeting and catching up with each other while some will be sitting quietly and praying. Before the service begins, our rector, Eric, will invite the congregation into some silence to prepare our hearts for worship.
We follow the rich Anglican liturgy in the Iona (Celtic) tradition and we sing our hymns out of two hymnals, one the Anglican hymnal and the other a United Church hymnal. Our Psalms and some other parts of the service can be found in the Book of Alternative Services. All three books will be in the book-rack in front of you and your bulletin will guide you. Our worship leaders will also announce which book we will be next looking at, and you will also find that people sitting near you will be happy to point you in the right direction as we go along.
If you are not familiar with a liturgical style of worship, we believe you will find it meaningful as everything we do or say has purpose and the service flows from one piece to the next in a rhythm that quickly becomes very familiar. There will be times that we all sit and times that we stand or kneel. In any of these times, you will see that some people choose to continue to sit, or stand, even when others are doing something else. There is no “right way” to worship God- and you are welcome to do whatever feels most comfortable for you.
We Celebrate the Eucharist Every Sunday
At the centre of who we are as a parish family is our celebration and receiving of the Holy Eucharist, also known as The Lord’s Supper or Communion. It is our tradition that all are welcome at God’s altar and are invited to receive Communion.
The Ushers direct us when it is our turn to come to the altar. Some will kneel at the altar rail and some will stand. You will be offered both bread and wine. To receive the bread, simply place one hand on top of the other, palms open and up and the bread will be placed on your top hand. To receive the wine, you may drink from the cup or if you prefer, simply place your finger-tips on the base of the cup. If you prefer not to receive one or both simply cross your arms in front of you. This will indicate that you prefer a blessing, which the priest will offer. After you receive, return to your seat.
Children are welcome at the altar. Parents can indicate to the priest whether the children are to receive a blessing or participate in the bread and wine (or just the bread).
The Peace and Fellowship
Our liturgy begins with music and scripture reading followed by a Sermon. The service includes a time when we pray for our needs and the needs of others, and an opportunity to greet one another and offer “The Peace of the Lord” to each other.
Some will stay at their seats and offer this greeting to those close by while others will step out into the aisle to greet others. You will hear some joyful voices during this time. After the Peace is exchanged, we will proceed with the Eucharist.
At the end of the service, we have a local tradition of holding hands and singing a farewell song. If you feel comfortable holding hands, please do so. But you will also note that some choose not to hold hands as we sing; that is fine, as well.
After the service ends, we enjoy some refreshments together. We hope you will want to stay for a few minutes, but if you need to be on your way, we certainly understand. We are just glad you have joined us!
See you next time!