Order of the service

Each service opens with a "Collect"; a formal prayer appropriate to the season and lessons. There are then four readings from Scripture; from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the New Testament, and finally from the Gospels. There is a sermon, applying the lessons to our daily life and experience, followed by reading in unison the Nicene Creed, a summary of the Christian faith.  

A series of prayers follow, asking for God's help and grace in every area of our lives. We confess our sins collectively aloud and privately in silence, asking for God's forgiveness for our shortcomings; we then greet each other, seeking peace from the frictions that arise in any community.

 The Eucharist or Communion is then celebrated, followed by a blessing and the dismissal of the congregation. 

What About Communion?

Communion is open to any baptized Christian. The wine and bread are shared at the altar rail; if you have a disability that would hinder your participation, let one of the ushers know so you may be served.  Even if you do not desire to receive Holy Communion you are welcome to come forward to the altar rail with everyone and receive God's Blessing.

Priests, candles, and written prayers - isn't that catholic?

The Episcopal Church occupies a middle-ground between the Roman Catholic Church and the various Protestant Churches; keeping traditions and ceremonies that date back to the early church, while reforming the theology. 

Books used in the service

Book of Common Prayer: This is the black book in the rack in front of your seat. As it says it its title, it is the Common Prayer book for all Episcopal churches.  No matter where you attend a service you will find this book available.  The Book of Common Prayer gives the order of service, and the words for the prayers; it indicates when to sit, stand, or kneel, and when the congregation is expected to participate in the prayers and readings. 

Hymnal: This is the blue or sometimes red book in the rack in front of your seat. It contains the traditional hymns of the church, along with music for various seasonal element of the service.