“The services are beautiful, the messages are biblically sound, and the people are welcoming. It’s definitely worth the hour we drive each week to attend!”
What does worship at St. Patrick’s Anglican Church look like? Well, it’s a different experience. There are no bands. No stages. No multi-media shows. St. Patrick’s worship is built upon a very old concept –that when we gather on Sunday it is so that we can give high and holy praise to a high and holy God. At St. Patrick’s we want worship to be a meaningful experience for you, however we often remind ourselves that the focus of our worship is God, not us. So we treat worship with great reverence and joy and believe that we are a part of something that unites us with one another, Christians around the world and Saints across the ages.
Our worship is liturgical. That means it follows a formal, set pattern. It also means that you participate with the Priests and Deacons in the worship –you are not just a spectator! The word liturgical actually means, “the work of the people” which is a neat way to think about our collective worship. The service comes from the Book of Common Prayer, the first of which was written in 1549. Before that, much of our worship structure, and even some of the phrases themselves, date back to the 3rd century. It is pretty amazing to know that what we do on Sunday morning has been done for over 1600 years!
Two common questions we need to handle from the beginning: Yes, we have childcare at both the 9am and 11am services. The nursery is in the main church building. Secondly, anyone who is a Baptized Christian is welcome to receive communion. You do not have to be a member of our parish or an Anglican.
The liturgy of the Word is the first major part of our worship. The service opens with a hymn and procession. This is followed by several prayers that are designed to set the tone of our worship. Scripture plays a significant role in this section. We normally have 3 to 4 readings (depending on the service) from the Bible. We have an Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament and reading from the Gospels. The readings are organized on a 3 year cycle which means that in our worship we read most of the entire Bible every 3 years.
Following the reading comes the sermon. Sermons typically last :15-:20 minutes and usually are focused on one of the readings of the day. Either before or after the sermon we recite the Nicene Creed, one of the oldest statements of faith in Christendom. We then pray for the world and one another.
We also make a general confession prior to communion. This comes from Matthew 5:23-24 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-28 which instructs us to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters and to examine ourselves before receiving the sacrament. Once the priest pronounces absolution we move into the final act of our worship, The Liturgy of the Table.
This final, climatic section of our worship dates from the earliest known records of Christian worship, including the book of Acts (see Acts 2:42). As Communion was a part of the weekly worship in the early Church, so it is within Anglicanism. In the liturgy of the table you will find this part of the liturgy the pageantry and symbolism speak to the deeper realities of the sacrament itself.
We recall the story of creation, the formation and deliverance of Israel, and the coming of Jesus. Then, following the pattern (and the very words) found in 1 Corinthians 11 we offer our praise and thanksgiving to God. The priest prays for the Holy Spirit to come upon the gifts of bread and wine that they may be the Body and Blood of Christ. Anglicans believe that this is indeed a spiritual reality but do not try to precisely define how this occurs. We prefer to leave it a mystery that we accept by faith.
All Baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion. You do not need to be a member of the St. Patrick’s or even of the Anglican Church.
Following Communion, we say a final prayer of thanksgiving and we sing as the servers and clergy process out.
After the 9am Mass we have Christian Education for all ages (during the school year). Our classes meet in the Cole House (the house behind the Church). After the 11am Mass we have a time of fellowship and food normally referred to as simply “Coffee Hour”. This is a great time to meet people, catch up, and simply to get to know our Parish. We’d appreciate you sticking around after either service to allow us to greet you and get to know you!