About Episcopal Worship
All Are Welcome
All are invited to participate in Holy Eucharist (sometimes called Communion, the Mass, or the Lord's Supper). You are welcome at the altar to receive communion. If you prefer to not take communion, you may come to the altar rail, cross your arms over your chest and receive a blessing. If you would rather remain in your seat during communion, you may do so. After the service, please join us in the parish hall for coffee and conversation.
We Love a Parade
You know you're in an Episcopal church when the worship service begins and ends with a procession. We like to move up and down the aisle, early and often, preferably with music. As many people as possible are incorporated into the procession: acolytes to carry candles, a crucifer to carry the cross, a book-bearer for the Gospel Book, choir members, eucharistic ministers who assist with communion, and the day's clergy.
Where's the Action?
The altar is the central focal point in an Episcopal church. The first half of the Holy Eucharist, referred to as the Liturgy of the Word, takes place mostly at the lectern. The second half, the Liturgy of the Table, takes place at the altar. The Offertory, when bread, wine, and other gifts are brought up to the altar, marks the transition between these two parts of the service.
Sit, Stand and (occasionally) Kneel
After the Liturgy was revised in the 1970s, Episcopalians have been kneeling less and standing more. Most people kneel for the General Confession, some kneel for the Prayers of the People, and a few kneel for Eucharistic Prayer and the closing blessing.
Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and….
You may notice that some people genuflect (kneel briefly on one knee) at certain points in the service. Many bow (for example, when the cross passes in procession) and at other times make the sign of the cross (at the Absolution following the Confession, for example). These are personal expressions of devotion that some, but certainly not all, find meaningful in their worship. Do as the Spirit leads.
We hope to see you here!