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.
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.
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 11:15am 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!