About Our Worship at St. John’s
In the Catechism of the Episcopal Church, the purpose of worship is explained:
In corporate worship, we unite ourselves with others to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God's Word, to offer prayer, and to celebrate the sacraments. (BCP 857)
Our parish finds our center in our corporate worship, particularly through our regular celebration of Holy Eucharist. Also known as the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy, the Mass, and the Great Offering, this service is the sacrament commanded by Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection.
In Holy Eucharist, the Church’s sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving makes present the sacrifice of Christ to us, uniting us to his one offering of himself. The outward and visible sign of the sacrament is bread and wine, given and received according to Christ’s command. The inward and spiritual grace is the Body and Blood of Christ given to his people and received by faith. Through Eucharist we receive the forgiveness of our sins, the strengthening of our union with Christ and one another, and the foretaste of the heavenly banquet which is our nourishment in eternal life. Before we come to Eucharist, the Church calls us to examine our lives, repent of our sins, and be in love and charity with all people.
Our Parish celebrates Holy Eucharist at least three times every week. During the Fall, Winter, and Spring those services are as follows:
Sunday mornings at 8:30am is a spoken service of Holy Eucharist. Normally it is Rite II (contemporary) language. However, during the seasons of Advent and Eastertide it is Rite I (traditional) language. On the two Sundays of the year that the later service has incense (Pentecost and Trinity Sunday), the early service is made more festive with the gift of harpsichord music.
Sunday mornings at 10:00am is also a spoken service of Holy Eucharist with the organ, hymns, and usually a musical anthem or two. It is always Rite II (contemporary) language, except for Advent when it is Rite I (traditional) language. During certain times in the church year—including Advent, Christmas, and Eastertide—the Eucharist is chanted.
Wednesdays at 12noon is a said Eucharist with those attending gathering in our All Souls' Chapel. We celebrate whichever feast falls within that week, particularly Major Feasts, and also offer the sacrament of unction (laying on of hands and anointing with oil for healing of body, mind, and spirit). On days a priest is unavailable, this becomes a lay-led service of Noonday Prayer & Healing.
We also gather during the year on important days in the church life called feasts. There are two types: Principal Feasts and Other Feasts of Our Lord.
We have special sung Eucharist with incense on Principal Feasts (Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, All Saints’ Day, Christmas and the Epiphany). When these days do not fall on a Sunday, the service is generally at 6:00pm, with the exception of Christmas (5:00pm and 10:30pm) and the Great Vigil of Easter (8:30pm). Each of these feasts also always has alternative times to celebrate for those who prefer not to be around incense. Contact the parish office for more information.
We also have special services on the seven Feasts of Our Lord. These services do not involve incense and are times for us to gather in one service as a parish family and celebrate key events in the life of Christ. We generally transfer these feasts to the Wednesday of the week in which they fall and observe them at the noon service that day. Sometimes we observe them with a special small service at 6pm. You can contact the parish office for more information on when the next one is.
More information on the schedule of our service times, and of our celebration of the feasts of the church, can be found on here.
Everyone is welcome to come forward to the altar rail during Holy Communion. If you are not baptized, please cross your arms over your chest and you will receive a blessing. If you are baptized, please extend your hands for the bread and then grasp the base of the chalice to guide it to your lips. If you have a gluten allergy, you can indicate to the priest that you would like a gluten free wafer by clasping your hands together.
We hope you’ll join us for worship sometime soon. Whoever you are and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, the Episcopal Church always welcomes you.
If you are curious about our services you can click here for a YouTube playlist of our live-streamed worship offerings. You can also view videos of sermons and other parts of the life of our church at the reset of the content on our YouTube channel here.