Sunday is the usual day when Episcopalians gather for worship.
At the 11:00 Sunday Service you’ll find people of all ages, and you’ll hear the happy sounds of children and music (hymns and songs). The Rite II service translates many of the oldest prayers in the church into contemporary language. Some people find that it makes more sense to use “you” in expressing love to God.
Episcopal churches use liturgy in our worship, from The Book of Common Prayer, so the prayers and service forms do not change a lot from week to week. The main Sunday service is Holy Eucharist (also known as the Mass, or Holy Communion). Holy Eucharist always has two parts:
The Liturgy of the Word. We hear as many as four readings from the Bible, and then a brief homily interpreting them and exploring how to live as a Christian in our world. The congregation prays the Nicene Creed (written in the fourth century, and explaining Christian belief ever since then.) Then we pray together (for the world, the church, those in need), we confess our sins, and greet one another with “peace.”
The Liturgy of the Table. In the second half of the service, the priest stands at God’s table (or the altar), greets the congregation, and begins the “Eucharistic prayer.” This prayer tells the story of our faith. The priest blesses the bread and wine on the table, and offers it to God’s people.
In the Episcopal church, all baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion. This is not because we have a low view of communion, but because we have a high view of Baptism. We believe that through Baptism, a person joins God’s church, no matter what congregation. Visitors who are not baptized Christians are welcome to come forward during the Communion to receive a blessing.