About Anglican Worship
Anglican worship differs from many other traditions with its sacred liturgy and expectation of significant congregational participation. This guide is intended to assist newcomers with the major differences. You will also find it helpful to keep your service program open and ready to use throughout the worship service, as it contains all of the parts of the service, and provides cues about what comes next and what your role might be.
Visuals & Actions
We recognize that newcomers may come from a variety of church backgrounds and we warmly welcome you. The gestures you will see, such as crossing oneself, bowing as the cross passes your row, kneeling, reverencing the altar (to name a few) are intended to enhance worship, not to serve as a mark of piety. Only do what you are comfortable doing. Everything we do in the service—dress, gestures, words—is done for a reason. In general, though, Anglicans:
- stand to sing, hear the Gospel, and recite the Nicene Creed
- kneel for prayer and much of the Celebration of Holy Communion
- sit for most other parts of the liturgy (the lessons, sermon, etc.)
Holy Communion (the Eucharist) is celebrated every Sunday. All baptized Christians, including children, are welcome to receive the Sacrament of bread and wine. Anyone not receiving the Eucharist is welcome to come to the altar rail when your row is dismissed and kneel to receive a blessing. Simply indicate this intent by crossing your arms over your chest. You are also free to remain seated during this time if you do not wish to come forward.
The liturgical and musical elements of our worship, such as the Gloria, the Agnus Dei, Litanies, etc. are printed in the bulletin and you are encouraged to participate. These musical settings often change throughout the church year, which is another reason to keep the service program handy.