How We Worship
worship the lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth tremble in awe.
Worship is a central part of our life together at St. Andrew's. We both take it seriously and have a lot of fun with it at the same time. Our Sunday morning service usually takes the form of Holy Eucharist, Rite II, which is found in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (BCP). You'll notice that on any given Sunday our music is drawn from a broad range of sources, Anglican chant to spirituals, Taizé chants to traditional hymns. Our choir may sing, or we may be treated to the talents of a soloist or a duet. Both our circa 1926 Hall Pipe organ and our piano are used every week. We are intentionally eclectic in how we worship. You'll find that our prayers are drawn from the BCP, Enriching our Worship, and other Anglican and ecumenical sources from around the globe.
There is no wrong way to worship at St. Andrew's. You will see some people stand, sit, or kneel at different times, and cross themselves and bow down at other times. You'll see people dressed in their "Sunday-best" dresses sitting right next to someone in a t-shirt and jeans. Do what feels comfortable to you: what is truly important is that you are here!
Every Sunday morning we feast on God's word and then, on most Sunday mornings, we feast at God's table. We hear readings from the Old and New Testaments and we sing, chant, or say psalms together. Our sermons are offered by our clergy and by members of the congregation; they are regularly thought-provoking, challenging yet comforting, and invite us to engage with our faith more deeply. We pray for those in our community and our world who need God's presence.
Unless we are holding a service of Morning Prayer (which only do a few times per year), we then gather around God's table for Holy Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, or the Great Thanksgiving. "...(T)he Eucharist, the Church's sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, is the way by which the sacrifice of Christ is made present, and in which he unites us to his one offering of himself. " (BCP, p. 859) We remember all that God has done for us throughout human history and we share this meal to commemorate the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. This table belongs to God, not the church, and it unites us. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome at it.
We offer communion in both kinds (both bread and wine), though we believe that communion is complete in either form, so you can just take the bread only, or just the wine only. We offer separate chalices for those who prefer to sip from the chalice and those who prefer to dip their communion wafer in the wine, and we have gluten-free wafers available (just ask the priest when you come up to the altar rail).
You may also come to the altar rail and receive a blessing instead of receiving bread and wine. Just cross your arms across your chest, and the priest will bless you.
Finally, having shared in the stories of our faith and been nourished at God's table, we are sent forth with a blessing to share God's love with the world. Our shared worship is what empowers us to do God's work in our daily lives.