You may not be familiar with the way Anglican’s “do” church. Here is a short overview of a typical Sunday service.
Anglican worship is centered around Word and Sacrament.
- We read passages from the Old and New Testament, a Psalm, and a portion of one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John).
- We listen to a sermon based on one of the passages from the Scriptures.
- We pray for ourselves and others.
- We celebrate the Eucharist, or Holy Communion.
The prayers and the basic structure of this Word and Sacrament come from the Church of England’s document, Common Worship. This liturgy was published in 2000.
The language is mostly modern, though the Eucharist (Holy Communion) uses the traditional language found in services of the Catholic, Methodist, and Episcopal Churches.
Group participation is a significant part of our service. We ask for volunteers to read the Old and New Testament passages and a Psalm. And members of the congregation also lead us in prayers for the needs of St. Augustine’s and the world (called intercessory prayers). We say the Lord’s Prayer each week, along with the Nicene Creed.
The passages for the service are on a wide screen, and there is a large-sized copy for those who like to have the words in their hands.
We sing an opening, post-Communion, and closing hymn (we have hymnbooks!). We also sing responses during the service. Those tunes, if unfamiliar, are easy to learn because, for the most part, they are short.
The style of music is varied: Traditional hymns, praise hymns, spirituals, and classical. We seek members with a musical gift in singing or playing an instrument to share their talents during the Offertory or Holy Communion.
Worshippers are active in reading, praying, and singing. It’s not impossible to take a nap during the service, but it’s not easy–especially since the Preacher is an old teacher! Hopefully, worshipping at St. Augustine will fill your head with knowledge to lead a faithful Christian life, and fill your heart with love for God and others. And in the process, maybe you will be changed by God to make a difference for God.