1) laity - (or lay person or lay) all nonordained Christians (ordained means selected for an specific ministry)

2) crucifer - person who carries the cross in the procession

3) priest - (or rector) person ordained whose role is to enable the people of God to be what they are called to be.

4)  Collect(s) - short prayer containing an invocation, a petition, and a claiming of the right to appeal in Christ's name or an ascription of glory to God.

5) Old Testament - collection of canonical (accepted by the church) books which the Christian church shares with Judaism.

6) Psalms - one of the 160 Hebrew poems that make up the Book of Psalms.

7) New Testament - the canonical (accepted) books of the Bible whose authority is recognized by the Christian church but not by Judaism.

8) Gospel - the third reading from the Bible at the Eucharist, which is always taken from one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).

9) Lay Eucharistic Minister - a specially trained lay member of the church who helps the priest during the worship service and with serving communion.

10) Homily - sermon

11) Absolution - the priest formally pronounces the forgiveness of sins

12) Eucharist - (or Communion, Lord's Supper, Mass) the sacrament of Christ's resurrection and his ongoing presence among us - it is the identifying act of the Christian community.

13) Elements - the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.

14) consecrated - in the Eucharist, when the Elements have become the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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Sunday Worship


Sunday worship starts at 9AM and lasts for a little over an hour. Folks sometimes are afraid they won't know when to sit, stand or kneel (we do a lot of each!), but the changes are all clearly marked in the bulletin you receive from the Greeter at the front door.

When you walk in the door and start up the aisle to find a seat, you will be greeted by the gorgeous stained glass of Jesus with His hands open in greeting to you. 

Below is a summary of the service, with all the 'technical' terms explained in the column to the right.

A prayer, procession and a hymn start off the service, with the laity1 standing, the crucifer2 leading and the priest3 coming last, which is appropriate for the servant that s/he is.

Once on the altar, the Rector3 opens with a prayer from the Collects4 and the Liturgy of the Word begins. 

The Liturgy of the Word

We begin by praising God through song and prayer, and then listen to as many as four readings from the Bible: usually one from the Old Testament, a Psalm, something from the Epistles, and (always) a reading from the Gospels. The psalm is usually recited by the congregation.

  Next, a sermon interpreting the readings appointed for the day is preached. The congregation then recites an affirmation of faith in the words the Nicene Creed, an ancient affirmation of faith written in the Fourth Century and the church's statement of belief ever since. 
 Next, the congregation prays together—for the Church, the World, and those in need. We pray for the sick, thank God for all the good things in our lives, and finally, we pray for the dead. The presider (e.g. priest, bishop, lay minister) concludes with a prayer that gathers the petitions into a communal offering.
 Then as a congregation we acknowledge our sins before God and one another. This is a corporate confession of what we have done and what we have left undone, followed by an assurance of forgiveness spoken by the presider. With these words, the presider assures the congregation that God is always ready to forgive us.
 The congregation then greets one another with a sign of peace.