The celebration of the Eucharist, also known as the mass, is the principal act of communal worship on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, and other special Feasts of the Church year. So that’s what you will find most Sundays at St. John’s.
The service has two parts. First we hear the word of the Scriptures always including a reading from one of the four Gospels. The sermon follows reflecting on what we have just heard. Second, we come to the Lord’s table, or altar and remember the story of God’s love gathering us as one family. In particular, through words and actions, we remember the gift of his body and blood given to us to remember him in the form of bread and wine.
The celebration of Eucharist may be simple, or glorious, meditative, or joyful. Often, we celebrate with music and song, colorful vestments, and incense so that all our senses engage in the worship experience.
The Book of Common Prayer, the rich worship source in the Anglican tradition, provides a form of daily prayer or individuals and families. It also provides for communal prayer daily in the morning, at noon, evening and at the very end of the day. Through these times of prayer we consecrate all we do as holy from the most mundane tasks to the most lofty and momentous.
At St. John’s we celebrate Evening Prayer as a digital community every Tuesday and Thursday. The service is composed of Psalms and other poetry from the Bible as well as biblical readings and prayers.
At the end of the day, Compline or Night Prayer seeks to bring calm and quiet to our busy lives as we reflect on the day that is past, read short portions of Scripture and commend ourselves to God in the coming night. At St. John’s, we celebrate Compline together on the first Sunday evening the month with a meditative atmosphere of candlelight and chant drawing from the ancient Christian monastic tradition. Read more here.
Since Christian worship is about bringing God into our lives and bringing our lives to God, throughout the year we offer special services of worship, especially on Ash Wednesday to begin Lent, the season to prepare for Easter; and during the week before Easter (Holy Week) to commemorate the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection, through which Jesus has won for all of us the victory of life over death. We celebrate the Feasts of Christmas and Epiphany with special joy as we remember God becoming one of us in Jesus. We also celebrate the goodness of creation at the annual Blessing of the Animals and Rogation Day, when we pray a blessing on the fertile earth.
The Anglican tradition, of which we are part, has developed certain emphases based on our history. Learn more about our heritage.