The Episcopal Church generally and St. George’s specifically have our own worship practices, some traditional and time honored, others new and evolving. If you’re unfamiliar with Episcopal worship, it might seem foreign to you in some ways, but as Episcopalians who grew up in other denominations will testify, it takes only a service or two to feel right at home.
At St. George’s we try to make the service meaningful to all with an easy-to-follow bulletin and straightforward guidance about what comes next. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask an usher or a neighbor in the pew for directions – as Episcopalians, we love our liturgy, and are more than happy to share it with you!
Generally, Episcopalians stand to sing, pray and declare our beliefs, sit to listen to scriptures and the sermon, and kneel to confess our sins and experience the mystery of Holy Communion, also known as the Eucharist.
Episcopalians celebrate the Eucharist weekly. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion. For this “liturgy of the table,” ushers direct worshipers to the altar rail, where we kneel, or stand if kneeling is difficult. We receive the bread on our open palms and guide the chalice to our lips, holding its base. Visitors who prefer not to receive communion may remain in their pews or go forward for a blessing, crossing their arms across their chests to signal that they will not receive the bread and wine.
Our music is as varied as our parish. Generally the hymns we sing, from the blue hymnal in the pew racks, derive from the great tradition of Anglican congregational singing, but the hymnal, published in 1982, also includes early American, African-American and other ethnic selections, as well as songs from the spiritual renewal movement. We also supplement the hymnal with other congregational music. Our parish thrives on finding inspired new ways to praise God.