How We Worship

Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham
Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham
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The style of worship at Church of the Advent is an expression of our Anglo-Catholic heritage. Our Solemn Mass service is a rich celebration filled with color, light, music, movement and incense. This is because as Anglo-Catholics we believe in worshipping God not only with our minds, in the intellectual contemplation of God's word and the preaching, but also with our bodies. We use all five senses in our worship: seeing color, light and movement; hearing music and silence and the rhythm of the words; smelling the unique fragrance of incense; touching by clasping hands or embracing during the Peace; and tasting the bread and the wine. We actively participate in the service by standing, sitting, kneeling, bowing and making the sign of the crossWhen you enter the sanctuary, you will be given a bulletin and a Mass Booklet which contains the service music for the day. In the pews you will also find the Book of Common Prayer (red), which is used by all Episcopal churches throughout the United States, and the Hymnal (blue). The bulletin will help you find your way through the Mass Booklet, Prayer Book and Hymnal. We recognize that our beautiful, historic and elaborate liturgy is complicated and may be confusing the first few times. Those around you will be happy to help guide you through the service. It is also always acceptable to simply let the sights and sounds of the liturgy wash over you, opening your heart, mind and senses to the experience of worship.

The Holy Eucharist

The principal act of Christian worship in the Episcopal Church is the Eucharist, a biblical term meaning thanksgiving. The Eucharist is also called Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper, or simply the Mass. Since the early days of the Church, this word has referred to the sacred meal Jesus gave his friends as a means of his continuing presence among them. As a great Anglican scholar, Dom Gregory Dix, OSB, has said:

"At the heart of Christianity is the Eucharist, a thing of absolute simplicity - the taking, blessing, and giving of bread and wine as these were done with their new meaning by a young Jew before and after supper with his friends on the night before He died. He had told His friends to do this henceforward with the new meaning for the recalling of him, and they have done it always since."

The Eucharist is divided into two major parts: the Liturgy of the Word, which includes collects and prayers, Bible readings, the sermon, and the Creed, or statement of belief. The second part is the Liturgy of the Eucharist, or communion. This is the blessing and distribution of the bread and wine, the repetition of Our Lord's actions at the Last Supper when he commanded, "do this in remembrance of me." The two parts of the Eucharist are interrelated and are two acts of a single, unified drama. Word and Sacrament are of equal importance. The sacrament of the Eucharist is celebrated at Church of the Advent with the richness and ceremonial that reflects our catholic heritage. In the celebration of the Eucharist we follow the same Liturgy that the Church has used since apostolic times. This celebration of the Lord's Supper, therefore, ties us together with all those who have come before us and all Christians throughout the world.

All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion at Church of the Advent.