Worship

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Psalm 122:1)

Worship is the very heart of Christian community. Whether in a stone church from the 1600s, a shopping mall storefront, a rural home or a hospital bed, we gather in worship to open our hearts and offer our selves to God and one another. Young and old, rich and poor, sick and healthy, sinner and saved, friend and stranger work together (the word liturgy has Greek roots: laos, or people, and ergon, or work) to give praise and thanksgiving to God our Creator, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our triune God.

Episcopal worship and song is shaped by the charisms of scripture, tradition and reason. Candles are lit and ancient words come to life in Sunday lessons, homilies and creative reflections. Prayers and songs old and new rise like incense to the living God. In the Sacrament of Eucharist we take, bless and break and share the gifts of ordinary bread and wine that have become the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. In worship God’s mysterious, transforming grace pours out blessings of peace, hope and love among the gathered people sent forth to serve God in Christ’s name.

Creating worship that draws us to God’s house in glad anticipation is worthy of all that we are and all that we have. Whether planning a Holy Eucharist in a town parish, Morning Prayer in a rural mission, or Choral Evensong in an urban Cathedral, being informed, intentional and inclusive of our community’s gifts and needs will bring out our best worship decisions. Episcopal worship is shaped by scripture, tradition and reason, and there are many choices to make—written elements such as the lectionary, lessons, music, prayers, or the format of the Sunday bulletin, physical elements such as furniture in the nave and sanctuary, musical instruments, candles, incense, crosses or banners, and the movement of people to consider.

We offer the following resources to assist God’s people in creating worship we come to with glad anticipation!

Please see the list of recommend reading, websites and consultants listed at the right.

© 2013 The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

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