Worship at St. Mary's
Our worship here at St. Mary’s follows the Book of Common Prayer. This prayer book stands in a long line that reaches back to the Protestant Reformation in England and its first antecedent was published in 1549 by the first Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer. While the language and many of the prayers are different, we don’t pray for the English Monarch, our 1979 Book of Common Prayer remains true to the crafters of the first Book of Common Prayer, namely making the worship of the church accessible to all.
On Sunday we have two worship services which are both Holy Communion (Eucharist) at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. with Christian Education for all ages at 9:00 a.m.
The 8:00 a.m. service is celebrated without music while at 10:00 a.m. we have both hymns and service music along with the ministry of our choir and organist. Worship at St. Mary’s is participatory in that it cannot take place without the active engagement of both people and priest. Our worship service is known, in the language of the church, as “liturgy”, which literally means the “work of the people”.
We Episcopalians, as the Anglican expression of faith in this country, are not a confessional faith but a creedal one. Our faith is one that understands its connection to God and our theological beliefs through our common prayer, given to God in communal worship as we pray our prayers together from the heart.
While our Sunday worship is more formal in nature, every Tuesday in the Hirst House we have a more informal service of Holy Communion followed by a “brown bag” lunch and bible study.
Our service of Holy Communion is one of word and sacrament. We read and hear scripture in community, confess our faults and then are fed with the body and blood of Christ in the elements of bread and wine. With these elements we are renewed and sent out into the world to do the work of God.
Worship at St. Mary’s is both traditional and contemporary. Traditional in that we use a liturgy (service) that reaches back into the rich history of Christian corporate worship and contemporary in that it connects with us where we are today in our struggle to live into the reality of God’s presence with us.