At. St. Margaret's, we gather for worship on Sundays, with Holy Communion offered at every service.
Rite I - 7:30 a.m. - A more formal, historic liturgy with no music.
Rite II - 9:00 & 11:15 a.m. - A worship service with multiple styles and a variety of music offerings.
(We also offer a small Holy Eucharist on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. in the administrative building conference room.
Each Sunday has a different musical focus with the Chancel Choir serving as the anchor choir and offering traditional Church anthems. The Motet Ensemble offers music from the Renaissance, Baroque and classic Anglican choral traditions. Our young Spirit Singers offer a variety of music especially written for children’s voices and the St. Margaret’s Chorale features musical offerings by youth up to high school age. The Third Sunday Band regularly offers contemporary Christian music to accompany worship. Occasionally special worship services feature soloists, instrumentalists, or combined choirs.
All worship in the Episcopal Church is based from the Book of Common Prayer, which gives worship a familiar feel with service forms and prayers from texts that don’t change greatly from week to week during a season of the year. This sameness from week to week gives worship a rhythm that becomes comforting and familiar to the worshipers.
The Liturgy of the Word
We begin by praising God through song and prayer, and then listen to four readings from the Bible. Usually one from the Old Testament, a Psalm, something from the Epistles, and (always) a reading from the Gospels. The psalm can be chanted or recited by the congregation.
Next, a sermon interpreting the readings appointed for the day is preached.
The congregation then recites the Nicene Creed, written in the Fourth Century and the Church’s statement of what we believe ever since.
Next, the congregation prays together—for the Church, the world, and those in need. We pray for the sick, thank God for all the good things in our lives, and finally, we pray for the dead. The priest concludes with a prayer that gathers the petitions into a communal offering of intercession.
In certain seasons of the Church year, the congregation formally confesses their sins before God and one another. This is a corporate statement of what we have done and what we have left undone, followed by a pronouncement of absolution. In pronouncing absolution, the presider assures the congregation that God is always ready to forgive our sins.
The congregation then greets one another with a sign of “peace.”
The Liturgy of the Table
Next, the priest stands at the table, which has been set with a cup of wine and a plate of bread or wafers, raises his or her hands, and greets the congregation again, saying “The Lord be With You.” Now begins the Eucharistic Prayer, in which the presider tells the story of our faith, from the beginning of Creation, through the choosing of Israel to be God’s people, through our continual turning away from God, and God’s calling us to return. Finally, the presider tells the story of the coming of Jesus Christ, and about the night before his death, on which he instituted the Eucharistic meal (communion) as a continual remembrance of him.
The presider blesses the bread and wine, and the congregation recites the Lord’s Prayer. Finally, the presider breaks the bread and offers it to the congregation, as the “gifts of God for the People of God.” The congregation then shares the consecrated bread and the wine. Sometimes the people all come forward to receive the bread and wine; sometimes they pass the elements around in other ways.
All Are Welcome
At St. Margaret's, no matter where you are on your faith journey or your past denomination, you are welcome to “receive communion.”
At the end of the Eucharist, the congregation prays once more in thanksgiving, and then is dismissed to continue the life of service to God and to the World.
Courtesy of The Episcopal Church Archives - Visitors' Center