What to expect at this Episcopal church…
The Holy Eucharist: the Divine Liturgy of the Mass
Christ gathers us
Our call to give Thanks
At St. Paul’s and all Episcopal churches, our worship is centered on the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our order of worship, The Holy Eucharist, is found in the Book of Common Prayer and is deeply rooted in the traditional worship of the ancient Church. Our prayer and praise is centered on what our relationship with Jesus should be like.
Christ Calls Us
Our Lord’s invitation to acknowledge our sin and celebrate our gifts
As we gather each Sunday, our worship begins with a reminder of our Baptism, when holy water is scattered over the people assembled . We continue the opening acclamation and with time to recall our sins as we prepare to magnify God’s holy Name. We respond to God’s assurance of grace with a song and a procession of the Cross into the church. During this time, we celebrate and recognize that we are called into a relationship with God the Father, through God the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by the power of God the Holy Spirit. We pray together in thanksgiving for the marvelous works God has done and continues to do in our lives while we sing praises with the angels who sang and continue to sing – Glory to God in the Highest!
Christ Teaches Us
The Liturgy of the Word
Following our opening prayers, members of the church share four readings from scripture: the first a reading from Hebrew Scripture, followed by a portion of the Psalms, next a reading from Acts or one of the Epistles, and finally the climax is reached with the proclamation of the Gospel. We then listen to a Homily, which is a reflection on how these teachings can be meaningfully applied in our lives today. Following this intentional engagement with God’s Word, we confirm Christ’s teachings for his disciples and proclaim his divinity in the Creeds of the Historic Church. We pray for the world, the church, for those in need, and visit again the burden of our sins and our need of forgiveness. When we have finished our prayers we share Christ’s Peace with one another, so that we are reminded of our need to be in a right relationship with our neighbors and with our community. The Peace of the Lord be always with you!
Christ Gave Himself to Us
The Liturgy of the Table
Following the passing of the Peace, we prepare ourselves for Holy Eucharist. While the Choir sings, an offering is taken from those that are present and brought to the altar with the elements of the Eucharist (bread and wine). We present these symbols of our life, our souls and our bodies by lifting our hearts and singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” to the Lord, and join as celebrants in the prayer of Great Thanksgiving. As our priest recites the words Christ spoke when he shared his Last Supper, our spirits join with the Holy Spirit humbly praying that we may procure the benefits of Christ’s death and Resurrection. Known as the Eucharistic Prayer, we use several during the year at St. Paul’s. You will see different postures at this hallowed time. Some people may be kneeling and some maybe standing, either is fine, as long as it is done in the spirit of reverence and thanksgiving. After the consecration of the Bread and Wine, we join in saying the Lord’s Prayer, and then gather at the Altar rail to receive the promised gift of our Lord’s Body and Blood in the Holy Communion.
It is the Lord’s Table to which we are invited. It is Jesus invitation which compels us to consume that which we become – the Body of Christ.
Christ Sends Us Forth
After communion, we pray in thanksgiving for the gifts God has given us and our priest prays over us and pronounces a blessing. The Cross, the choir, and the sacred ministers lead us in a final song symbolizing that we are commissioned to use the gifts which we have been given in the service of Jesus Christ throughout the world. Finally we look to Mary, mother of the Church and model of all Christians as well as our Lord’s mother, praying the Angelus that we may cultivate a heart ready to do what God requests.
Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord!