What is Worship Like at St. Michael's
Woven together by the language of the Book of Common Prayer, worshippers come in suits or dresses, khakis or skirts, or jeans and t-shirts. We are united by our common desire to encounter God, be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and to be made more like Jesus. We leave worship every Sunday nourished to do the work that God calls us to do as the body of Christ in the world.
Worship in the Episcopal Church is part of a long liturgical tradition in Christianity stretching back to the early church. The prayers of the Book of Common Prayer have stood the test of time in their ability both to help us express our deepest thoughts and feelings to God and to teach us what it means to be faithful followers of Jesus. We are shaped by our prayer even as we offer it up to God.
“Liturgy” refers to the order of worship used in any worship service. It is the arrangement of prayer, music, movement, and silence that provide the means of our encounter with God. The liturgies of the Episcopal Church have roots going back well more than a thousand years
The central ritual in Episcopal worship is the celebration of the Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Eucharist includes special prayer in which we acknowledge to God all that God has done for us, telling the story of redemption and remembering Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. Following the prayer, we partake of bread and wine as symbols of Christ’s body and blood. We believe that Christ is present during this feast not only in the bread and wine but also in the hearts and minds of the people gathered at Christ’s table. We are spiritually nourished by the Lord’s presence and empowered to minister for the kingdom of God.
While the Eucharist is central to all of our primary worship services, each service has a different feel. The following descriptions provide a sense of worship at St. Michael’s. Families with children are welcome at all services. Penny’s Place Nursery is also available for families who need it on Sunday mornings.
We livestream our Sunday morning service on our YouTube channel.
10:00 a.m. - Sunday Morning WorshipIn this service, music is led by the St. Gregory Choir and accompanied usually by the organ (so ably played by or Choirmaster, Dr. Ken Walker). Hymns and canticles are sung by worshippers. There are also opportunities to silence one's heart and mind as one listens to the choir singing the psalm appointed for the day or the morning's anthem. The service consists of two halves: The Ministry of the Word & Holy Communion. The Ministry of the Word includes readings from scripture, a sermon, the recitation of the Nicene Creed, along with prayers of intercession and confession. Holy Communion is the celebration of the redemption offered to us in Jesus Christ through a ritual, sacramental meal that nourishes as spiritually as the body of Christ. In total, the service lasts about an hour and is preceded by Sunday School or fellowship time. This service is livestreamed on our YouTube channel .
5:30 p.m. - Saturday Evening WorshipOur Saturday service is defined by silences and the absence of music. It is a spoken service only. It follows the same basic order of worship as our Sunday morning services, but has a quieter and more intimate feel. The service lasts about 45 minutes. Once a month, some worshippers go out to eat at a designated restaurant. All are invited to these Saturday Suppers.
9:30 a.m. - Wednesday Morning WorshipSimilar to the Saturday evening service, this celebration of the Eucharist is a spoken service (no music) that lasts about 40 minutes. It is an intimate gathering in Cloud Chapel. Typically, the liturgy and the prayers are determined by the saints being celebrated on the church calendar. On the first Wednesday of each month, we have a healing service. This service follows the regular liturgy with additional elements including an anointing of oil for those who desire it.