Becoming involved in the worship life of Saint Paul's
Worship in the Episcopal Church, and here at Saint Paul's, involves everyone—through singing, reciting prayers, responding to prayers and readings, and simply being present to the Lord. Yet, there are special ways to become even more involved through a variety of worship ministries. The Episcopal Church is a sacramental and liturgical church, practicing a liturgy that has its origins in the earliest days of the ancient church of the First Century. The form of the liturgy is found in theBook of Common Prayer, a document that, through various editions, has been used by Anglican and Episcopal churches for nearly 500 years.
The Book of Common Prayer is the official liturgy of the Episcopal Church, this is the way we pray our faith and through which we meet God and God meets us. Worship in the church and in Saint Paul's ranges from the plain to the elaborate, from the simplicity of an informal, spoken service to ceremonies reminiscent of the Roman or Orthodox churches.
Episcopalians worship the Lord together, in common and with devotion. The laity actively participate in worship by bodily gestures, reciting prayers together, responding to liturgical greetings, and answering every prayer with "Amen!" We stand for praise, stand or kneel for prayer, and sit for instruction. We also stand for the creed and, at the Eucharist, for the reading of the Gospel.
OUR WORSHIP MINISTRIES
Who: Youths from age 10 and up, some adults also serve.
What: We serve at the altar during the liturgies, assisting the priest and the deacon. We carry the cross, torches, banners and other items in procession. We bring items to the altar for the Eucharist and help clear away. We light the candles at the appropriate time.
How: We become acolytes by getting training, after which we are scheduled to serve. Acolyte schedules are sent to each acolyte monthly.
Who: Both men and women, lay and ordained of all ages have been members of the Altar Guild.
What: We are like the stage crew for a play. We “dress” the altar and place all the vessels and other items where they can be used in the liturgy. We also care for the vestments, hangings and flowers and keep worship areas clean.
How: The Altar Guild Director trains new members of the Altar Guild. Members are scheduled for a month at a time.
Who: Members sixteen years and up are eligible to be chalice bearers.
What: We assist the clergy of the parish at the Eucharist by helping to distribute the Holy Communion, most often carrying the chalice to the people.
How: Since this is a licensed ministry governed by the canons of the church, potential Chalice Bearers are recommended by the Rector and the Vestry and then licensed by Bishop Wolfe.
Contact: Fr. Funston
Who: Anyone who can read aloud in a clear voice and who is more than 16 years old may be a lector.
What: We are assigned to read the scripture and lead the psalm at one of the Sunday Morning services. We are scheduled at the rate of once every month or so. We are also asked to read at mid-week services from time to time.
How: Lectors are trained by the Rector in the proper and effective reading of Holy Scripture in the worship of the church. Once lectors are sufficiently trained, the Parish Administrator schedules them. The schedule is mailed once a month.
Contact: Father Funston 776-9427
Who: All members of the congregation who enjoy singing should consider membership in the choir.
What: We sing at the 10:45 a.m. liturgies from September through May. We lead the congregation in singing the hymns and songs. We also prepare anthems for various occasions. We practice every Sunday morning from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. Some singing experience is useful, but not essential.
How: The Choir practices on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm. At our practice sessions we learn new music and practice special anthems. We learn to pay attention to a number of important elements of musical expression and liturgical arts.
Contact: Choir Director, Glenn Horton-Smith
Ushers and Greeters
Who: Members of the parish who are able to greet people as they come into the church.
What: We greet people as they enter the church for liturgies, hand out bulletins and service leaflets and take up the offerings at the offertory. We are the ones who count everyone and bring the gifts of bread and wine to the deacon.
How: We become ushers by getting training, after which we are scheduled to serve. Our assignments are mailed once a month.