Worship Services at St. Philip’s Church
A word about what and how we perform worship at our church; we call our worship, “liturgy,” meaning, from the Greek, the “work of the people.” A part of that “work,” is prayer.
It is also part of our liturgy that when we enter the nave (where the pews are) for our prayer, we do so quietly, in respect for those who are already there praying and meditating.
When you are seated within the nave, you may notice there are books in the racks located behind each pew. The two red ones are hymnals. The black ones are our Book of Common Prayer, which has the directions and words of our liturgical worship. You may choose to follow along, or possibly observe.
Just before the clergy and altar party begin the procession toward the altar, you will hear bells that will be rung slowly three times; one time each, which represents each one of the Holy Trinity (God, Son & Holy Spirit), to call us from quiet prayer to active worship.
Our liturgy builds from the Word of God to the Presence of God in Christ Jesus in the Great Thanksgiving, also called, the Holy Communion. All who are baptized, in good standing within your church, and believe that Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine of Holy Communion are welcome to receive. To receive, place one hand on the other and raise them to receive the wafer (bread) and for the chalice of wine lightly grip the base of the chalice to aid the server. If you do not wish to receive and do want to receive a blessing from the priest, simply kneel or stand at the altar rail with arms crossed over your chest to indicate it to the clergy.
After the worship service has ended, please join us for coffee and fellowship in the parish hall. We would like to get to know you.
Our church’s sacraments are defined as the “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.” –The Book of Common Prayer
Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist are the two great Sacraments of the Gospel.
Holy Baptism is God’s action of claiming us as His own children and making us members of the Body of Christ. The water of baptism signifies our transition from the old life of bondage to sin, through the cleansing of Christ, to a new life of liberation and grace. It is our participation in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Since it is an action of God, it is eternally significant and sufficient. The Episcopal Church recognizes any baptism performed with water in the name of the Trinity.
The Holy Eucharist (from Greek meaning Thanksgiving), or the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, is the normative liturgy for Sunday worship in the Church. In it we are forgiven our sins, nourished and strengthened by the Real Presence of our Lord in the Sacrament, and then sent out into the world to do the work He has given us to do. Mass, a synonym for Eucharist in our church as well as in the Roman Catholic Church, comes from the same Latin root as mission.
Although they are means of grace, other Sacraments are not necessary for all persons in the same way Baptism and the Eucharist are.
The other Sacraments are:
Confirmation–where we make a mature commitment of our faith to Jesus Christ and receive the laying on of hands by a bishop for the blessing and gift of the Holy Spirit to sustain us in our Christian witness and service.
Holy Matrimony–celebration and blessing of the life-long union of a husband and wife in Christian marriage.
Reconciliation of a Penitent–sometimes referred to as “Penance” or “Private Confession,” in which sins are confessed and God’s absolution (forgiveness) is given through the ministry of a priest.
Holy Unction–the church’s ministry of healing through anointing and laying on of hands with prayers.
Holy Orders–the Sacrament setting apart persons for ministry as deacon, priest, or bishop through ordination.
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We welcome you to join us for our worship services.