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The Bulletin, available at the church entrance, shows the order of service (The Eucharist), which follows the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Episcopal worship is liturgical, meaning that it is participatory and we follow service forms that are similar week to week.
Enter to worship and opening hymn
Liturgy of the Word
Collect (general prayer)
Readings (Old Testament, Psalms, Epistle)
Prayers of the People (various forms)
Confession and exchanging the Peace
Liturgy of the Sacraments
The Great Thanksgiving
Eucharistic Prayer (story of our faith)
Breaking of the Bread
Concluding Thanksgiving Prayer
Closing Hymn; depart to serve
The Bulletin shows pages in the Hymnal with a “#” whereas pages in the BCP have a “p.” The lessons are printed on an insert to the Bulletin.
Newcomers may be confused about when to stand, sit, or kneel. Suggestions are made in the rubrics in the BCP, but there is no wrong posture – you will see standing, sitting, and kneeling, depending on a person’s physical ability or tradition.
All baptized persons regardless of denomination may receive Communion. We approach the altar on the right and exit on the left. You may kneel or stand. Non-baptized persons may receive a blessing from the Priest.
The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has devotional and teaching resources and is a symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship and our common prayer.
In 1549, the BCP was the first book to have all forms of service in English from Baptism to Funeral. It was revised in 1789, following the American Revolution, for the American Episcopal Church, and has had several revisions since then. It contains all rituals (rites) and ceremonies of the Church together with the Psalms.
The threefold sources of authority of Anglicanism are scripture, tradition, and reason. Scripture is the source for teaching. Tradition passes down the experience of God’s presence. Reason is the human capacity to discern the truth in both rational and intuitive ways. The authority has been characterized as a “three-legged stool” that falls if the stool is unbalanced.