What to Expect When You Visit

What to Expect When You Visit

Normally our Sunday worship schedule is:

 

8 am at Emmanuel: Holy Eucharist (Communion) Rite 1 without organ or choir. This is for those who prefer an earlier and more contemplative service without music.

9:15 am at St. Andrew’s – Holy Eucharist (Communion) Rite II with organ and singing

11:15 am at Emmanuel – Holy Eucharist (Communion) Rite II with organ and choir-led singing

 

When there is a fifth Sunday of the month (four or five times a year), we often do one joint service instead of three services. If so, this changes both the time and location of our service that day, so be sure to check the calendar.

We want you to feel comfortable!

No matter how friendly we want to be, we know that visiting any Church for the first time can be a little intimidating.  Everything from knowing where to sit to the language of our services can make it all too easy to feel a bit lost.  We don’t want to pounce on you, but we certainly don’t want you to feel alone in our churches! Don’t hesitate to ask questions of anyone around you.

What to Wear

We all know that God doesn’t care what we wear as long as we enter His house respectfully with a heart for worship and a longing to be closer to Him. Dress up or come as you are…you’re welcome in God’s house. But in case you’re a detail-oriented person, here’s the scoop: at any of our services, you’re likely to find folks wearing everything from jeans and sandals to suits and high heels. The most common attire you’ll find will be “nice casual.”  

 Our Ushers

Your first encounter is likely to be with one of our ushers.  These friendly folks are dedicated to the ministry of hospitality.  At the least, they will bid you good morning, hand you a service bulletin, and direct you to the Nave for worship. You may sit anywhere! There are no reserved seats…

Welcoming Children

Children and infants are always welcome during worship, and we love their sounds and outbursts! For non-infants, we have activity tote bags containing some items that your youngsters might enjoy. If you didn’t see them when you came in, just ask an usher.

Children are welcome at the Lord’s Table (the Altar furing Holy Communion/Eucharist)) at their parents’ discretion.  If your child does not receive the bread and wine, he/she may come to the altar rail to receive a blessing.  To indicate their desire to be blessed, please have your children cross their arms over their chest. 

The Act of Worship 

As you enter the Nave, you’ll be greeted by an atmosphere of worship and reverence. We recognize that many of our parishioners have just completed a frantic, minor miracle in making it to the service at all. This quiet calm before a service is an opportunity to re-focus on the big picture and prepare oneself for group worship. We try to keep our socializing in the parish hall.

A typical Episcopal Sunday service has two parts: the Word and Communion.  The Word is where we hear Scripture readings, say our prayers, and listen to the sermon.  Communion—also known as Holy Communion or Eucharist—is where we share the Bread and Wine as Jesus commanded us to do before he died. 

The service follows an order found in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), two-thirds of which is scriptural. Every worship service includes the reading of Holy Scripture from the Old and New Testaments. Many of our prayers and hymns are filled with Scripture. The BCP allows everyone to participate, reminding us that each person is an important part of the worship experience. 

Stand, Sit, or Kneel? 

Throughout the service, we will both stand and kneel to assist in the physical act of worship. If you’re new to the Episcopal tradition, a simple guide is to just follow the folks next to you.  Practices vary – even among individual parishioners. The general rules are: 

  • Stand for singing, affirming the Creed, reading the Gospel, and during certain prayers. 
  • Sit during readings from the Old Testament or New Testament letters, the sermons, and the choir anthems. 
  • As you are able, kneel during certain prayers or as an act of humility before God. 

All Are Welcome At Our Altar: Holy Communion

All baptized Christians— regardless of denomination—are welcome to receive communion—also known as Holy Eucharist—with the congregation. Episcopalians invite all baptized people to receive the bread and wine, not because we take the Eucharist (Communion) lightly, but because we take our baptism so seriously.

Come forward to the altar rail as the ushers direct you and take the next available place. You may kneel or stand as you are able or prefer. Receive the communion bread from the priest in your open right palm. You may choose to receive the wine directly from the cup/chalice by gently guiding it to your lips as the Eucharistic Minister presents it to you, or you may “intinct,” or dip the bread into the wine before putting it in your mouth. 

If you prefer not to receive communion, you may still come forward to receive a blessing. To indicate your desire to be blessed, please cross your arms over your chest. If it is physically difficult for you to come to the altar rail, please indicate this to an usher and a priest will bring communion to you in your seat. 

As mentioned above, children are welcome at the Lord’s Table and to receive Communion at their parents’ discretion.  If your child does not receive the bread and wine, he/she may come to the altar rail to receive a blessing.  To indicate their desire to be blessed, please have your children cross their arms over their chest. 

Join us for Coffee Hour

After the service, the priest will greet you in the back of the church as you leave, but we hope you’ll join us for coffee hour in our parish hall. We’d love the chance to get to know you better, regardless of whether you’re just passing through, just visiting, or church-shopping.