Our Chapel and our main church have pews. Please feel free to sit anywhere. Ushers are available at the front and rear of the Church (Ushers wear a white usher pin). Please feel free to use either entrance prior to the service. Once service has started, please enter from the rear of the church. Ushers will hand you a leaflet (the bulletin) that contains special announcements about the service, written copies of the lessons and Gospel, as well as the Psalm. Other announcements regarding church events and social activities will be included in the leaflet.

Each pew contains a copy of the Book of Common Prayer (red hard cover book), the 1982 Hymnal (dark blue hard cover book) and the Hymnal Supplement (green paperback). Please refer to your leaflet to follow along in the service. The leaflet will contain the page numbers for the Book of Common Prayer, the sequence of worship events, the Hymns, and any special worship instructions. The back of each pew contains a Welcome card. Please complete a card and hand it to an Usher or put it into the collection plate when it is passed.

A few minutes before the service the organ or other instruments will play Prelude music to allow people to gather and prepare for the service. Most services start with a hymn that everyone sings while standing. There is usually a procession of the Minister, Deacon, Acolytes, and Choir. Usually the procession is led by the cross and you may see people bowing to the cross as it passes by as a gesture of respect. Once the hymn is over the Minister and the congregation say the Opening Acclamation which is a formal way of greeting one another. The Minister will say a prayer called a collect which is meant to collect us and our thoughts.

We all sit down to hear readings. Most of the time there is a reading from the Old Testament, a psalm a reading from the New Testament and a reading from the Gospels.

Because the Gospel, the stories of Jesus’ life and death, are central to our faith, that reading gets “special treatment.” Normally a hymn welcoming the Gospel is sung and the Gospel book is brought into the middle of the congregation and read by either a deacon or a priest. Everyone stands for this reading and turns and faces the Gospel Book.

Following the Gospel a sermon is preached. The sermon is meant to take what we have heard in the readings and engage those learnings with our current lives. Because we are actively responding we stand up at this point. We say the Nicene Creed, an ancient statement of faith used by most Christian churches which binds us together with Christians of all generations. We pray the Prayers of the People. The Minister then bids “The Peace.” We do that by saying “Peace be with you” to one another. People may shake hands or embrace each other.

The Peace is followed by announcements. This is not a formal part of the ritual but is a chance to let people know what is going on in the community and how to get involved.