The Way We Worship
The way we worship and receive the sacraments are what draws many people to the Episcopal Church. Our church is liturgical, which refers to those things we “do” every time we gather in worship. Our liturgy consists of all the lessons, psalms, prayers, preaching and sacraments of the church, which are spelled out in the Book of Common Prayer. (The red book in the pew rack).
If you are unfamiliar with this type of worship, you may wonder if the structure would be confining. Those who have become accustomed to it have found that there is a certain “peace of predictability” that allows the Holy Spirit to shine through. The use of liturgy rather than ideological viewpoints or cultural characteristics allows greater inclusion and diversity within our Episcopal worship experience. Our liturgical style is also similar to that used by first-century Christians and others throughout history. Liturgy not only spiritually links us with each other, but also to other Christians who have gone before us.
The Episcopal Church recognizes seven sacraments. A sacrament is a “sacred act.” It has also been described as an outward expression of an inward gift, given by God. The first two sacraments, Baptism and Communion (Holy Eucharist), are the two “great sacraments of the Gospel” and were instituted by Jesus.
The other sacraments are Holy Matrimony, Confirmation, Reconciliation (Confession), Anointing of the Sick (Unction), and Ordination.