Worship in the Episcopal Church
Come to this table, you who have much faith and you who would like to have more; you who have been here often and you who have not been for a long time; you who have tried to follow Jesus and you who have failed; come.
It is Christ who invites us to meet him here.
~ The Iona Abbey Worship Book
Guided by the motto, lex orandi, lex credendi (“The law of prayer is the law of belief,” or “You are what you pray”), the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion are bound together, first and foremost, by the way we worship: If you go into any Episcopal Church in this country - or indeed any Anglican Church around the world - you will discover that the primary text used in worship is the The Book of Common Prayer (also known as the Prayer Book, or BCP).
The BCP contains a wealth of resources for both individual and collective prayer, including the Daily Offices (services of Morning, Noonday, and Evening Prayer, along with Compline, which is a beautiful, ancient service for the end of the day) and the Holy Eucharist, or Communion. The principal form of Sunday worship in the Episcopal Church is the Eucharist, which always follows the same basic structure:
- Opening prayer
- Scripture readings
- Sermon, in which the preacher seeks to connect the day's Scripture readings to the lives of those in the congregation
- An Affirmation of faith (generally the Nicene Creed)
- The Prayers of the People, including prayers for the Church, the world, the local community, those in need of healing, and those who have died
- A General Confession of Sin and Absolution (declaration of God's forgiveness)
- Greeting one another with a sign of Christ's peace
- Making Communion together by sharing consecrated (blessed) bread and wine, the Body and Blood of Christ
- Being sent back out into the work to love and serve God and our neighbors.
For more information about The Book of Common Prayer and how the Episcopal Church worships, please visit this link:
The Episcopal Church: "What We Believe"