Worship

Worship is the center of all we do at Grace Episcopal Church. Through the services of Word and Sacrament, we encounter God in Christ. We are nourished by God’s Word in the form of Holy Scripture and preaching, by God’s love in the form of the bread and wine of Communion, and by the beauty of God’s creation in the form of color, light, sound, space, and flowers.

The chancel area decorated for Easter

The worship of the Episcopal Church is according to the Book of Common Prayer (1979) and the Hymnal (1982) along with supplemental texts. We use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Each week, we hear a selection from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), one from the New Testament, and one from the Gospels; we also read a Psalm together. We sing hymns; hear a sermon; pray together for the concerns of individuals, the parish, the Church, our community, and the world; offer our gifts; and gather around God’s Table for the Holy Eucharist (Mass/Communion/Lord’s Supper). Lay people serve as greeters, ushers, readers, acolytes (altar servers), Eucharistic ministers (helping set the table and distribute the Communion wine), intercessors (leading the prayers), choir members, and in the Altar Guild (setting up and maintaining the spaces and objects used in worship).

Poinsettias around the altar at Christmas

As a church in the liturgical tradition, Grace Church uses a lectionary (a cycle of Scripture readings covering three years). The colors of vestments and altar hangings, and some details about the services, change from season to season throughout the year, from Advent, Christmas and Epiphany through Lent and Easter to Pentecost. This rhythm of highs and lows helps remind us of the story of our faith and provides a structure for our worship throughout the year, as the colors, words, and music emphasize different themes.