What to Expect
Sunday Morning at Christ Church

All are welcome to join us as we meet together to worship, pray, and hear God’s word. We meet in the historic church building of St. Paul’s Memorial, built in 1901 and located at 1001 W. Colfax Ave., a few blocks from downtown South Bend. Our services are reverent and dignified (but with plenty of baby noises—children are always welcome!). Some people dress more formally, and some dress more casually.

Sunday morning service (9:00 am)

On Sundays our service is either Morning Prayer or Holy Communion. Each service has a sermon by our rector, the Rev. Steven Wedgeworth; as well as hymns and Anglican chants accompanied by our organist, Michael LeGrand. Our services are from the Book of Common Prayer, which is a way of praying with the wider church. You can learn more about the Book of Common Prayer here. And we read a lot of Scripture in our services, especially on Morning Prayer Sundays. You can learn more about the Bible readings in our service here.

If you are used to a nondenominational service with a praise band and a pastor in jeans, the service will seem formal and “high church.” The spoken words are almost all from the prayer book or the Bible. The music is traditional. The minister wears a cassock and surplice, and faces the east when saying the creed. But if you are used to a Catholic mass, this will seem “low church.” You won’t find bells, incense, processions, and lots of candles. In other words, it’s not high or low, but just classic Anglican worship that is reverent, simple, and beautiful.

We are a warm and friendly congregation, and we invite you to remain afterwards for conversations and refreshments.

Sunday morning children’s and teen's catechesis (10:40 am)

This is held in-person at the church, and there are two classes, one for younger children (roughly 4-10) and one for older children and teens (roughly 11-18). In the class for younger children, the lesson is usually about the gospel or one of the other readings for the day, along with Scripture memory. The class for older children and teens is working through a survey of the Old Testament with Pastor Steven.

Additional Notes

Note on receiving communion

In the Anglican tradition, the Lord’s Supper is "a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves" (Article 28). But it is more than that. It is "a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death" – which means that to everyone who "rightly, worthily, and with faith" receives these elements of bread and wine, "the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ" (Article 28; 1 Corinthians 10:16). Because it is such a serious thing to come to this spiritual feast, the Apostle Paul warns us that we should only come prepared (1 Corinthians 11:27-34). Preparation for communion is explained in the catechism in the Book of Common Prayer (page 306). Q: "What is required of those who come to the Lord’s supper?" A: "To examine themselves – whether they truly repent of their former sins, steadfastly purposing to lead a new life; have a lively faith in God’s mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and are in charity with all men."

If you are from another church, and have been baptized and are admitted to communion in that church, you are invited to the Lord’s Table.

To receive, please come forward at the indicated time and kneel at the rail (unless prevented from kneeling by infirmity). We partake of the wine from a common cup, following the example of our Lord and St. Paul (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 10:16). The use of a common cup has been the Anglican custom for more than four centuries, and there is no reason to think it poses any danger. When receiving communion, please eat the bread and drink the wine; please do not dip the bread in the cup. Note that gluten-free bread is available upon request.

Note on COVID-19 protocols and response

As of August 28, 2022, we no longer require mask-wearing for unvaccinated adults. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken a number of preventative health measures. Our church has believed that the majority of the questions involved in responding to the pandemic have been matters of earthly concern and general wisdom. As such, we have followed the health and safety requirements from the appropriate civil authorities (federal, state, and local), while also trying to move in step with some of the communities nearest to and most interconnected with our parish's members (e.g., Notre Dame). The Anglican tradition takes seriously the duty to obey civil magistrates that is stated in passages like Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. You can read more about this in the Anglican Formularies, including Article 37 (found in the back of the BCP) and the “Homily Against Disobedience and Willful Rebellion." The moral duties implied by the Sixth Commandment also require us to seek the health and safety of both our members and our neighbors.

As the pandemic has continued for over three years now, many changes have taken place in our understanding of how COVID-19 spreads, the vaccines and medicines available, and the practical realities of our communities. In August 2022, the Center for Disease Control amended its safety guidelines, changing how and when it recommends mask-wearing, testing, and other strategies. Additionally, all of our regularly attending adult members have been vaccinated, and the great majority of the St. Paul's congregation.

Christ Church Anglican still encourages everyone to stay up to date on the latest health and safety news and to take all reasonable precautions. We may make future changes if our local conditions change. Please consider your own needs, as well as those of your brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who are most vulnerable. If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, please do not attend any church functions (including activities outside Sunday morning worship). And please continue to pray for an end to the pandemic and for the health and wellbeing of all who have been affected by it.