First time in an Episcopal church?
Here’s a quick guide to what to expect when you worship with us.
Arriving and Entering
8:00 a.m. service
Typically, there is no usher at this service. You are invited to pick-up a service bulletin from the table as you enter the Nave (the main body of the church, where the congregation sits.) The offertory/collection plate is also located on this table and offerings may be dropped in the plate as you enter.
10:00 a.m. service
You will be greeted by an usher and given a service bulletin and then directed into the Nave.
Upon entering, you may notice some people kneeling in their pew, praying in personal preparation for worship. Some will also bow to the altar upon entering and leaving the church as an act of reverence for Christ. Do what feels comfortable for you.
Our two Sunday services are both Eucharistic (Communion) services. All who are present are welcome to receive Communion at God's table.
Our 8:00 a.m. service is a service with Bible readings, prayers, a sermon and Holy Communion. There is no music included in our 8:00 a.m. service.
Our 10:00 a.m. service is a service with Bible readings, prayers, a sermon and Holy Communion. Music is an integral part of our 10:00 a.m. service and includes congregational singing, instrumental music and choral music by our choir (from September to June) and soloists (from June to August).
We use order of service from the Book of Common Prayer or additional Episcopal Service Books. The Book of Common Prayer is unique to Anglicanism (of which the Episcopal Church is a part) and it’s “common prayer” because all Anglicans pray it together, around the world in slightly different versions. The first Book of Common Prayer was compiled in English by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th Century, and since then has undergone many revisions for different times and places. The present prayer book for the Episcopal Church was published in 1979. But its original purpose has remained the same: to guide is in worship and prayer, but in doing so it also describes the main beliefs of the Church, outlines the sacraments of the church, and in general serves as the main guidelines of an Episcopal community.
Members of the congregation are invited to participate in the service and directions for your participation will be found in the service bulletin, with frequent references (by page number) to the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal. Not sure when to stand or sit/kneel? Follow the cues given by those around you or do what feels comfortable to you. There is no “right” or “wrong” way.
All are welcome to receive Communion at All Saints’; however, you may elect whether and how you participate in this rite.
8:00 a.m. service:
As there is no usher at the 8:00 a.m. service just follow those seated in front of you.
10:00 a.m. service:
Sit until the usher signals that it is your turn to stand, exit your pew, line up and walk to the altar rail to receive Communion.
Please feel free to come to the Communion rail even if you don't want to receive Communion. Cross your hands over your chest and the priest will offer you God's blessing instead of giving you the bread. If you want Communion, but are unable to walk to the altar, tell the usher and Communion will be served to you in the pew.
The Communion meal consists of the bread and wine. The “bread” is a communion wafer; gluten-free wafers are available on request at the altar rail. The “wine” is alcoholic; therefore, if you abstain from alcohol, you should decline the wine (though receiving one or both is considered to have received Communion). You are invited to stand or kneel at the altar rail. There are various ways to receive Communion – the most common being that of receiving the bread in your hand (hold out one or both hands palms up), then placing the bread in your mouth; and receiving the wine by guiding the base of the chalice as you drink. Alternatively, you may receive the bread in your hand and wait to dip it into the smaller chalice (intinction cup) as it is offered. (Holding your wafer up between your thumb and index finger is a sign to the person carrying the small chalice).
Gluten allergies: Gluten-free Communion wafers are available at all Eucharist services. Just request one from the priest as he approaches you.
After the Service
At the end of the service some people kneel for a private prayer before leaving. Others sometimes sit to listen to the organ postlude. The priest greets the people as they leave. Directly following our 10:00 a.m. service, we invite you to join us for coffee hour, a time of fellowship and refreshments in the Fellowship Room. Just follow the crowd!