Think of this page as your 'First-Time Guide’
to Visiting St. David’s Episcopal Church
Welcome. We extend a cordial welcome to you. Join us as we pray and sing and listen and worship
The Place of Worship
Episcopal churches are built in many architectural styles (St. David’s is 1990’s modern). Whether
the church is small or large, elaborate or plain, your eye is carried to the altar, or holy table, and to the cross. And at
St. David’s, you will also see that we are seated on benches or chairs, in a fan-shape design. Thus our eyes can meet
one another in this house for God’s people.
On or near the altar there are candles
to remind us that Christ is the "Light of the world'' (John 8:12). Often there are flowers, part of God’s
beautiful creation and a reminder of the joy of Jesus’ resurrection.
side at the front of the church, there is a lectern-pulpit, for the proclamation of the readings. The sermon is usually preached
from here as well.
The Act of Worship
Episcopal church services are congregational –
all are invited to participate fully (speak, sing, listen, watch, stand, sit, walk). You may wonder when to stand or sit.
Practices vary---even among individual Episcopal churches. St. David’s uses a worship bulletin that is printed for each
specific service. This bulletin usually gives directions as when to stand or sit. The priest often invites the congregation
to sit or stand at the appropriate moments as well. Kneeling is always a personal option.
the pews/chairs you will find the Book of Common Prayer (red), the Hymnal (blue) and a songbook titled,
Renew (gray). These books enable all to share fully in every service.
The Regular Services
The principal service is the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). At St. David’s, the 8:00am service on
Sunday has a little music and the language of the prayers uses thee and thou and thy. We call it
traditional. The 10:30 service has more music (including a choir from September through June) and the language is what you
hear every day. We call it contemporary.
There is a communion service on Wednesdays at 11:00am
that uses contemporary language, has no music, but includes prayers for healing, along with the laying on of hands and anointing
There is also a 7:15am communion service on Thursdays, which begins with a 15
minute mediation given by the priest. As on Wednesdays, there is no music and contemporary language is used.
there are other types of services for special occasions: Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Lessons and Carols,
Taize-style prayer. The services can be found in the Book of Common Prayer or there is a printed worship bulletin
to lead you through the service.
We hope you will find the services of the Episcopal
Church to be beautiful in their ordered dignity, God-centeredness, and mindfulness of the nature and needs of we human beings.
Before and After
Ushers will greet you at the door of the church and hand you a worship
bulletin. Feel free to sit wherever you would like. The Ushers are most willing to answer your questions about the church
and the service.
It is the custom for some people to bow to the altar or cross when
entering and leaving the seating area. This is as an act of reverence for Christ, whose presence is symbolized in the altar
and the cross. Upon selecting a seat in the church, many people at St. David’s will greet the folks who are seated around
them. It is also the custom for some people to kneel in one's place for personal prayer when first arriving at church.
the end of the service, some people kneel for a private prayer before leaving. Others sit to listen to the organ postlude.
Others leave immediately.
The rector/pastor is usually at the door to greet people as they
There are always conversations going on after the service in the area immediately
outside the church, as well as at the coffee hour in the Mission Center. All are welcome.
What Clergy Wear
To add to the beauty and festivity of the services, and to signify their special ministries, the clergy
and other ministers customarily wear special clothes (vestments). Acolytes (altar servers)
usually wear a cassock (blue) with a white, oversized gown called a surplice. Chalice bearers and the clergy usually wear an alb, a white tunic with sleeves that covers the body
from neck to ankles. Over the alb, the ordained ministers (deacons, priests, bishops) wear a stole, a narrow band of colored
fabric. Deacons wear the stole over one shoulder, priests and bishops over both shoulders.
a communion service, a bishop or priest usually wears a chasuble (a circular poncho-like garment) over the alb and stole.
color of the stole and chasuble changes with the seasons and holy days of the Church Year. The most frequently used colors
are white, red, purple and green.
The Church Year
The Episcopal Church follows the traditional Christian
calendar, as do many denominations. The season of Advent, during which we prepare for Christmas,
begins on the Sunday closest to November 30. The Christmas season lasts twelve days, after which we celebrate the feast of
the Epiphany (January 6). Lent, the forty days of preparation for Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday. Easter season lasts fifty
days, concluding on the feast of Pentecost. During each of these seasons, the Bible readings are selected for their appropriateness
to the focus of the season.
There are also lesser seasons between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday,
and between Pentecost and the first Sunday of Advent. During these seasons, the New Testament readings (usually one from the
letters of the Apostles and one from the Gospels) are read sequentially from Sunday to Sunday. The Old Testament lesson corresponds
in theme with one of the New Testament readings.
Once again, Welcome!
You are our respected
and welcome guest. Please join in all that we do in whatever way is most comfortable for you. We are all on a journey of faith,
but we are not all at the same place. So come in, take your place, and discover God with us.
you wish to know more about the Episcopal Church or how to become a member, please contact the church office by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-276-4567.