What to Expect
Christ Episcopal Church features two services each Sunday:
The 8:30 AM service is the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). It is celebrated quite simply, without music, and with a sermon. This is referred to as a “Said Service.”
The 11:00 service is also the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). This service features music and a sermon.
At all Episcopal Churches, at every service, all are welcome to take part in the entire service. You do not have to be an Episcopalian to take part in Communion.
You Will Not be Embarrassed
When you visit Christ Episcopal Church, you will be our respected and welcome guest. You will not be singled out in an embarrassing way, nor will you be asked to stand before the congregation, nor to come forward. You will worship God with us.
Should you wish to know more about the Episcopal Church or how one becomes an Episcopalian, the priest will gladly answer your questions and suggest the way to membership.
About the Episcopal Church:
The Place of Worship
As you enter, you will notice an atmosphere of worship and reverence. Episcopal churches are built in many architectural styles; but whether the church be small or large, elaborate or plain, your eye is carried to the altar, or holy table, and to the cross. So our thoughts are taken at once to Christ and to God whose house the church is.
On or near the altar there are candles to remind us that Christ is the "Light of the world'' (John 8:12). Often there are flowers, to beautify God's house and to recall the resurrection of Jesus.
On one side at the front of the church, there may be a lectern-pulpit, or stand, for the proclamation of the Word; here the Scriptures are read and the sermon is preached. In many churches, however, the lectern is separate from the pulpit and stands on the opposite side of the church.
The Act of Worship
Episcopal church services are congregational. In the pews you will likely find the Book of Common Prayer, though some countries use supplementary prayer books (Canada, for instance, uses the Book of Alternative Services regularly.) This enables the congregation to share fully in every service. In the Book of Common Prayer, the large print is the actual service. The smaller print gives directions to ministers and people for conduct of the service.
You may wonder when to stand or kneel. Practices vary---even among individual Episcopalians. The general rule is to stand to sing---hymns (found in the Hymnal in the pews) and other songs (many of them from the Holy Bible) called canticles or chants and printed as part of the service. We stand, too, to say our affirmation of faith, the Creed; and for the reading of the Gospel in the Holy Eucharist. Psalms are sung or said sitting or standing. We sit during readings from the Old Testament or New Testament Letters, the sermon, and the choir anthems. We stand or kneel for prayer to show our gratefulness to God for accepting us as children or as an act of humility before God.