WORSHIPING IN GOOD HEALTH AT ST. ANNE’S AND REMAINING CONNECTED – OUR RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC
For updates about how we are remaining connected as a community, how we are gathering together both in person in small groups and remotely to worship, learn, and support one another, CLICK HERE.
Worship is the center of our church community, and children are welcome at all of our worship services. However, to reduce the need to handle articles touched by many, the Busy Bags and Worship Baskets have been removed from the pews, along with the Prayer books and hymnals. The entire service will be printed in the Order of Service. Please feel free to bring books and markers/crayons for your children to use during services. If you prefer, children from birth to age 4 are also welcome in our professionally-staffed nursery from 9 am–noon on Sundays, and for many special services as well. Please ask an usher to show you the way.
Liturgy and Worship
Worship in the Episcopal Church is “liturgical,” meaning that the congregation follows service forms and prays from texts that don’t change greatly from week to week during a season of the year. This sameness from week to week gives worship a rhythm that becomes comforting and familiar to worshipers.
For the first-time visitor, liturgy may be exhilarating . . . or confusing. Services may involve standing, sitting, kneeling, sung or spoken responses, and other participatory elements that may provide a challenge for the first-time visitor. However, liturgical worship can be compared with a dance: once you learn the steps, you come to appreciate the rhythm, and it becomes satisfying to dance, again and again, as the music changes.
The Holy Eucharist
At St. Anne’s one may expect to share Communion at every service on Sunday and on Wednesday mornings.
All baptized Christians—no matter age or denomination—are welcome to share the bread and the wine which we believe are the body and blood of Jesus our Savior. Episcopalians invite all baptized people to share, not because we take the Eucharist lightly, but because we take our baptism so seriously. Visitors who are not baptized Christians are welcome to come forward during the Communion to receive a blessing from the presider and are invited to discuss opportunities for baptism with the clergy after the service.
We begin by praising God through song and prayer, and then listen to as many as four readings from the Bible. Usually one from the Old Testament, a Psalm, something from the Epistles, and (always) a reading from the Gospels. The psalm is either sung or recited by the congregation.
As a response to what is heard in Scripture, a sermon is preached that explores the main themes and challenges the listeners to deeper reflection.
The congregation then recites the Nicene Creed, written in the fourth century and the Church’s statement of what we believe.
Next, the congregation prays and gives thanks together— We pray for the Church, the World, and those in need. We remember the sick and the dead. We express our gratitude to God, the giver of all good things in our lives.
In most seasons of the Church year, the congregation formally confesses their sins before God and one another. This is a corporate statement of regret for what we have done that is not congruent with God’s plan for creation and for not playing our part in that plan. It is always followed by a pronouncement of absolution. In pronouncing absolution, the presider assures the congregation that God is always ready to forgive our sins.
Everyone in the congregation then greets others by a handshake, a smile, and the words “peace be with you”.
Next, the priest stands at the table, which has been set with a cup of wine and a plate of bread or wafers, raises his or her hands, and greets the congregation again, saying “The Lord be with You.” Now begins the Eucharistic Prayer, in which the presider briefly retells the story of our faith, from the beginning of Creation, through the choosing of Israel to be God’s people, through our continual turning away from God, and God’s calling us to return. Finally, the presider tells the story of the coming of Jesus Christ, and about the night before his death, on which he instituted the Eucharistic meal (Communion) we continue to share to this day.
The presider consecrates the bread and wine, and the congregation recites the Lord’s Prayer. Finally, the presider breaks the bread and offers it to the congregation, as the “gifts of God for the People of God.”
The congregation then approaches the altar to share the consecrated bread and wine.
At the end of the Eucharist, the congregation prays once more in thanksgiving, and then is dismissed to continue the life of service to God and to the World.
Task Force seeks participation in liturgical revision
A new website launched at EpiscopalCommonPrayer.org provides Episcopalians with opportunities to participate in the liturgical revision called for by Resolution A068 of the 2018 General Convention. The site is available in English and Spanish.
Developed by the Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision, the website includes draft documents that outline plans and principles to guide work on new liturgical texts. It also serves as a clearinghouse of all liturgies already approved for use by General Convention. For all the details CLICK HERE
Pdf of Order of Service