BOND TOGETHER THROUGH WORSHIP
Our worship consists of two main "parts" the Liturgy of the Word and the Holy Communion. Liturgy means "the work of the people." In the Episcopal Church, Sunday worship binds us together as a parish, and guides, nourishes, and forms as Christians. We have no set of doctrines or confession that we all must accept. Rather, "lex orandi, lex credendi" -- we pray what we believe. It is our liturgy--our common work--that reminds us that we are a people of God.
GATHERING: The opening rituals of our liturgy help us to mark a threshold between the world and the Realm of God.
The Opening Acclamation: It marks the formal beginning of our worship, focuses our attention on God, and joins our praise with people of God
The Collect: The Collect of the day is a short prayer that concludes our gathering.
LITURGY OF THE WORD: The first part of the service is called “The Liturgy of the Word.” We hear and respond to the Scriptures. There
are lessons from the Hebrew Bible (the “Old Testament”) and from the Epistles (letters circulated in the early Church). We believe that God
is able to speak to us as we wrestle with the ancient words of Scripture, spoken in God’s name by our ancestors in the faith. We are reminded through
listening to Scripture that God continues to be present in our own day.
THE GOSPEL: The Gospel, or "good news" is a record of what Jesus himself said and did, and is always given the
highest honor. This is why we stand when it is read. The reading of the Gospel symbolizes the presence of Christ,
reminding us that Jesus lives and works through his people, the Church.
THE CREED: We respond to the Word heard and proclaimed by reciting the Nicene Creed.
The Creed began as a three-fold response to questions beginning,“Do you believe . . .?” spoken just before Baptism. It is much more than a
statement of religious beliefs. It is a proclamation of trust and a promise to live as Jesus lived:
● A life undivided against itself, solely dedicated to God.
● A life fully shared with our sisters and brothers, God’s children, just as Christ took on our human life in order to walk with us.
● A life in communion with all who follow Jesus, sharing in the completion of God’s reconciling work in Christ, by the power of the Holy
Spirit among us.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE: To pray for the Church, the world, others, and ourselves is one of the fundamental reasons we come to God
in worship, and is an obligation we bring from Baptism.
Our prayers take us out into the larger world. We go out to hospital rooms and nursing homes. We visit with those who are shut-in or ill.
We go to the halls of government and into the places of commerce. The prayers guide us into churches around the globe and into places
of violence, famine, and disaster. We visit the saints who have gone before us; and we stand with the weak, the broken, and poor. Our
prayers of thanksgiving remind us of the deep and powerful blessings we have received.
THE CONFESSION AND THE PEACE: The confession is a time to reflect on our own personal choices and decisions, to see where we
have been wrong or at fault, and to offer those things up to God. Following the confession, the priest pronounces an absolution, and we
gratefully accept forgiveness as we say "Amen." To exchange the Peace of Christ is to recognize and affirm that it is Christ who brings us
together as members of one body. - Redeeming our failures -Transforming our loses - Healing our wounds
When we exchange the peace with one another, we affirm that we are also reconciled with each other.
HOLY COMMUNION: We begin the second part of the liturgy, the Holy Communion, with the offertory sentence.
The foundation and center of worship is sacrifice. In the tradition of our faith, sacrifice is not a painful loss imposed by God,
but rather a joyful affirmation of thanksgiving for the communion which God has already made possible. We bring our
alms—gifts of money and material goods—because the life of our community depends upon our sharing. But more
importantly, the placement of these gifts on the Altar represents the placing of our lives into God’s hands. We do this
thankfully because we know that everything we have has come to us from God. We do this faithfully
because we know we can trust God to provide. In making our sacrifice, we participate in the sacrifice of Christ himself, thankfully and faithfully entrusting his life
to God’s hands — and receiving it back to bring life to the world.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING: The table is set and the celebrant greets the people, inviting them to participate with their whole heart in the prayer
of Great Thanksgiving.
IN REMEMBRANCE: We then come to the heart of the Eucharist, recalling Jesus' last supper with the disciples, shared the day before his crucifixion.
This narrative is drawn almost word for word from the Biblical accounts in Luke (22:19-22) and Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (11:23-25).
Over the centuries, Christians have been divided over how we understand what happens to the bread and the wine. Anglican teaching is that when we
consume the bread and wine of the Holy Communion, Christ is really present in us, not in some cannibalistic way, but in our hearts by faith. The emphasis is
upon what happens to us, the transformation of our lives, rather than upon what happens to the bread and wine. We sanctify, make holy, the bread and wine
that we may be holy people, strengthened for the work we have ahead of us, to be Christ's body in the world and feed others as God has fed us.
INVITATION TO COMMUNION: This is the Table of Jesus, not the Table of Trinity Episcopal Church, Troy, Ohio. We invite all who seek to walk in faith
to join us at the Altar, sharing in Christ’s sustaining life.
GOING FORTH: The Liturgy of the Church is to reconnect us with our source and highest good in God. It forms us into the body of Christ, and individually as members of it. It strengthens us for our mission – for Christ’s mission of proclaiming the Kingdom of God, and bringing Good News to the poor. May God’s will be done on earth as in heaven, as we are sent out into the world, nourished and transformed as a people of God.
We bring our lives and our world with us into this place. Because it is sacred space, we hope to see our lives and our world in a different light as a result of our being here; that they may be sacred as well.
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