Book of Common Prayer
This book is our worship guide
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion,.The original book, published in 1549 (Church of England 1957), in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome. Prayer books, unlike books of prayers, contain the words of structured (or liturgical) services of worship. The work of 1549 was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English.
The most commonly used services found in the Prayer Book are The Holy Eucharist and Morning Prayer. The Book of Common Prayer(1979) contains two versions of each service–one in traditional language (Rite One) and one using contemporary words (Rite Two).
Hymns & Psalms
We use three hymnbooks which provide for diversity in services:
1. The Hymnbook
Most recently revised in 1982, The Hymnal of the Episcopal Church offers 720 hymns in addition to liturgical music. While some of the hymns date back to monastic chants, the hymnal offers more modern music as well.
Hymns are usually listed in the service leaflet or announced. If there is an S before the hymn number (for example, S-125), the music can be found at the front of the Hymnal.
2. Lift Every Voice and Sing (LEVAS)
This popular collection of 280 musical pieces from both the African American and Gospel traditions has been compiled under the supervision of the Office of Black Ministries of the Episcopal Church. It includes service music and several psalm settings in addition to the Negro spirituals, gospel songs, and hymns.
Dr. Horace Clarence Boyer was the General Editor of Lift Every Voice and Sing II and a frequent dynamic workshop leader about African American hymnody.
3. Wonder Love and Praise
This second supplement to The Hymnal 1982 is an eclectic collection of two hundred hymns, songs, and spiritual songs including a large selection of service music and devotional pieces. It is a valuable resource for worship, parish functions, and home use. The sturdy paperback pew edition contains all necessary accompaniments. There are additional hymns for Advent, Holy Week, Baptism, Ordinations, and Funerals as well as for healing, mission, unity, and peace. There are a dozen bilingual hymns and another dozen from Lift Every Voice and Sing II. The service music section contains twenty-nine new canticle settings including six Glorias, two Te Deums, A Song of Wisdom and A Song of Pilgrimage from Supplemental Liturgical Materials. There are two sets of Gospel Acclamations based on hymn tunes for the seasons of Easter and Epiphany. In addition there are twenty-nine selections of other liturgical and devotional music that includes table graces, rounds, acclamations, and selections of Music from Taize.
Stand, or Sit?
If you’re new to the Episcopal Church, you will quickly discover that we do a lot of sitting and standing at various times in the worship service. Generally, we stand or sit for prayer, sit for instruction, and stand for praise. Feel free to follow along with the congregation.
Children in Worship
We welcome children and encourage them to be present in worship. Children are welcome to receive bread and wine as soon as they show a desire to receive the elements.
The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are both Catholic (true to the historic Christian faith) and Protestant (reformed and evangelical). This walk in the middle way is a hallmark of Anglicanism and of the Anglican Church in the United States, known as the Episcopal Church. Our core beliefs are expressed in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, shared with many other Christians. You are welcome here with all of your doubts and questions!
Lay persons are members of the Episcopal Church by virtue of their baptism, for we believe that the Church is the body of which Jesus Christ is the Head and of which all baptized persons are members. The ordained ministers are bishops, priests, or deacons.
Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist (The Lord’s Supper) are the two great sacraments (visible signs of spiritual grace) in the Anglican tradition. In addition to the Sacraments and the Creeds, there are two other essential foundations of the Episcopal Church: the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and the Historic Episcopate, the line of succession of bishops in the life of the Church. (The word “episcopal” means “relating to a bishop.”)