How We Worship
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, like all Episcopal and other mainline Protestant churches, is a “liturgical” church – meaning that the church's public worship of God is the work of the Christian people. During any given service, the congregation participates in all aspects of the worship service through their verbal responses, reading from Holy Scripture, singing of hymns, offering prayers, and by receiving Holy Communion.
What to Expect on a Sunday
The principal Sunday service in the Episcopal Church is the Holy Eucharist, also called “Holy Communion” or “Mass.” Our services range anywhere from just under an hour (generally our 7:30 am service) to just over an hour (generally our 9:00 and 10:45 am services). At each service you will hear God’s Word read and proclaimed, prayers being offered, and the laying on of hands for those needing healing. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is offered at all services. Everyone is invited to come forward to stand or kneel at the communion rail. If it is your faith tradition to receive communion, please come forward to receive the bread and wine (gluten-free wafers are available upon request). Others may show their desire to receive a blessing by crossing their arms and placing their hands on their shoulders.
There is no dress code. On Sunday mornings, the pews will be filled with people of all ages, some dressed in "Sunday best" and others in jeans. Those serving at the altar wear robes as an act of reverence to God in the role they are serving. Whether you are serving on the altar or sitting in the pew, please come dressed however you feel most comfortable.
Children in Church
We view children as one of God’s greatest blessings and the future of the Church. This is why we invite them to worship with us with all their wiggles and giggles, Amens! and Alleluias! There are activity bags in the back of the church for them to use during the service if you wish to grab one, and “doodle” pads in each pew for those times when we just need to draw. During our 9:00 am service, we offer Sunday School for kids in 1st to 5th grade. Children in Sunday School are brought back to the Sanctuary to participate in Holy Communion. For children ages 0-5, if you prefer, we provide a fully staffed nursery at both the 9:00 am and 10:45 am services.
worship bulletins and hymns
As you enter the church sanctuary, one of our Ushers will hand you a Worship Bulletin. The Bulletin provides complete details of the service making it easy for guests to follow along. Being mindful of our role as stewards of creation, we print one Worship Bulletin for the Church Season. We ask that you return the Worship Bulletin at the end of the service for use throughout the entire Season. The weekly scripture readings, special hymns not included in our hymnals, and all announcements are included in an insert also given to you. They are printed on colored paper for ease of locating. Please feel free to take these home with you at the end of the service.
Our services follow the rites and liturgies found in either The Book of Common Prayer - which can be found in the book slot in your pew - or one of the authorized liturgies and rites found in Enriching Our Worship. The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) contains not only prayers for daily use and prayers for the celebration of the Eucharist, but also rites and prayers for all aspects of our lives: Holy Baptism, Marriage, the birth of children, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, and Burial.
Hymn numbers are posted on the hymn board located on the left side of the altar rail for easy reference. Hymns not included in our weekly insert are generally found in the Hymnal Books in the pews. We draw our hymns from the Worship and Rejoice (maroon book), Rejoice (multicolored book), and the 1982 Hymnal (blue book).
If you are new to the Episcopal Church, you may be unfamiliar with the different parts of the worship service. Practices vary as when it is appropriate to sit, to stand or to kneel – even among individual Episcopalians. The general rule is to stand to sing, affirming the Creed, the proclamation of the Gospel, and during certain prayers; sit to listen during the readings, the sermon, and certain music anthems; and kneel during other prayers (such as the prayer of confession) or as an act of humility before God. These rules are dependent upon your own health and ability. Some Episcopalians make the sign of the cross or bow at particular times and kneel for prayer upon entering the Nave. There is no general consensus as when these should be done. You may watch the people sitting around you for clues as to what to do when, or just do whatever feels comfortable to you.
Should I give?
Although a plate is passed for offerings during each service, no one is required to contribute money. Giving is an act of thanksgiving. Giving to the church is a result of a person’s response to God’s presence in their life. Contributions to the plate make all of programs and ministries at St. Alban’s possible.
How can I learn more about St. Alban’s?
If you wish to learn more about St. Alban’s, wish to have a name tag made, or wish to be added to our mailing list, please fill out the Welcome/Let’s Get Acquainted card located in the pew. Please either place the completed card in the offering plate and let that be your offering for the church, or hand it to the Usher or Fr. Bill as you leave the Church.