The Table of Jesus
The holiest object in a Church is the Table of Jesus. It is often called "Altar" or "Communion Table", but it is simply a table. We meet Jesus as we gather around the Table for a symbolic meal at which Jesus is both the host and the meal.
The ritual that happens at the Table of Jesus has different traditional names: Eucharist, Holy Communion, Lord's Supper, and Mass.
Eucharist is an ancient Greek word meaning "thanksgiving". It is the term we use at the Cathedral for this ritual meal, and the whole Sunday morning service is often described as a Eucharist even though it involves more than the gathering at the Table. If you are more comfortable with one of the other names for this ritual, that is fine. We want you to feel at home with us no matter what name you use for the service.
Each time we gather for Eucharist we are seeking to have the life of the risen Christ made more active and effective in our lives.
Children at the Table of Jesus
All the children of our faith community have a place at the Table of Jesus, just as they always have a place around our family table at home.
Jesus is remembered as having made room for children in his own ministry, even though his closest disciples sometimes wanted to exclude them as "not yet ready" for the kingdom of God.
Jesus insisted the children be made welcome back then, and we also make children welcome at Christ Church Cathedral.
Children are not the church of tomorrow. They are an essential part of the church right now. All of us belong: young and old, women and men, rich and poor, healthy and frail.
Like families, the church is a place for everyone no matter our age or our circumstances.
Claiming your place at the Table
Whether you are in church for the very first time, back in church after a period of time away, someone from another Church, or a regular here at the Cathedral, the Table of Jesus is an open table and everyone is encouraged to claim their place at the Table.
If you would normally receive Holy Communion in your own church you are very welcome to do so here with us.
If you feel more comfortable just coming to the Table for a blessing, simply join the line of people and ask the Priest or Deacon for a blessing. You may want to cross your arms in front of you so the clergy get a visual cue of your preference.
If you do not wish to sip the wine, feel free just to place your hands on either side of the cup for a few seconds and then go back to your seat.
Children will normally be given a blessing by the Priest, but sometimes parents choose to share their Bread with their own child. You may like to whisper to them something like this: This is the Jesus bread, or This is the Jesus cup, so they begin to form an idea of how special this ritual at the Table is for your family.
When a child expresses an interest in receiving the Sacrament for themselves it may be time consider preparing them for admission to Holy Communion, or First Communion as it is sometimes called.
Preparing children for Holy Communion
We offer family-based programs to assist young children to prepare to receive Holy Communion.