Each week we seek to glorify God in liturgies that move the heart and challenge the mind with great variety, color, energy and reverence. Both traditional and contemporary music play an important role in our worship.
Episcopal churches are "liturgical" churches. This means that our worship will have a recognizable shape, week after week. Liturgical churches keep the "liturgical year," a set of seasons that tell the story of our faith in real time, beginning with Advent - the season leading to Christmas, followed by the 12 days of Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and the long period of time between Pentecost and the last Sunday of the church year. Our worship space reflects the season in the colors of the hangings on the altar and the pulpit. The church year is reflected as well in the Scriptures we hear and reflect upon in worship week by week.
You may wonder when to stand, sit or kneel. You may also notice that there are times in the service when some people at St. Paul's are standing while others are kneeling. The general rule is to stand to sing and pray. We stand, also, to say our affirmation of the faith and for the reading of the Gospel. Some of our parishioners stand during the prayer of consecration at Eucharist, while others kneel—either is appropriate. We sit during readings from the Bible, the sermon, the announcements, and the choir anthems. Please feel free to do what is comfortable for you.
Holy Communion is celebrated at each service and available to all who desire to be united with God through Jesus Christ. We use bread and wine. Some people choose to drink from the cup, while others prefer to have the minister dip their bread into the cup. Some people abstain from one or the other of the elements for any number of reasons and indicate their choice by folding their hands to receive a blessing. If you prefer to forego communion, that is fine, too. Many of our visitors are in different places on their faith journeys and we respect that.
Prayers for healing with anointing are offered at each service. We affirm the ongoing work of God in making us whole.
Most importantly, come as you are, and plan to learn and grow. Relax and know that you are always welcome at St. Paul’s. And stay for coffee -- we’d love to say hello!
We know that it can feel strange to worship in a new church. Don’t worry -- many of us here come from different church backgrounds and religious traditions, so we understand. The main thing is that there is no right or wrong way to worship in the Episcopal Church. We gather to worship as Christians have done for more than 2000 years. We pray, reflect, celebrate, sing and celebrate Christ’s love.
When you arrive please fill out a visitor’s card and name tag. We won’t embarrass you with grand introductions, but we would like to greet you and answer any questions you may have.
Episcopalians worship in many different styles. If you’ve attended other Episcopal churches, you’ll probably find that St. Paul’s tends to be on the more informal side. All our services are shaped by the Anglican tradition, but each is uniquely tailored to meet the needs and preferences of our members.