Saint Anne’s is an Episcopal Church

First Time in an Episcopal Church? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Entering | Your Children | Service | Book of Common Prayer | Holy Communion | After the Service

Upon Entering

Take a copy of the weekly bulletin, which will guide you through the service. Please sit anywhere you choose. Upon entering, you may notice some people kneeling in their pew, praying in personal preparation for worship.

Did You Bring Children?

Saint Anne’s is a spiritual community for people of all ages. Your children are welcome to come here and to learn that church is a special place. Feel free to bring light snacks and favorite books and toys from home to keep them amused.

Kid chatter and even crying are a normal part of worship. We won’t mind it, but if you are distressed by it, take a walk with them. We have a “kids’ corner” in the back of the Museum Room with coloring books and puzzles – ask where it is and accompany your children there if they need a break. Come back to worship when you are ready.

Older children may enjoy following along in the bulletin and finding the next prayer-book page or hymn for you.

Our Worship Service

The principal service is the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). Our 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services are celebrated with organ accompaniment.  Our services are about an hour long.

Episcopal Church services are congregational, and in the pews you will find the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal.

The general rule for when to stand or kneel is to stand to sing, to pray the Daily Collect, for the reading of the Gospel, for the Nicene Creed, for the Prayers of the People, and for the Holy Eucharist. We sit during readings from the Old Testament and New Testament, the sermon, and the choir anthems. We stand or kneel for prayer to show our gratefulness to God for accepting us as children or as an act of humility before God. Do what feels comfortable for you.  Some will bow to the altar upon entering and leaving the church as an act of reverence for Christ. Again, you should do whatever feels most comfortable to you.

The Book of Common Prayer

Unique to Anglicanism (of which the Episcopal Church is a part) is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of worship services that all worshippers in the Anglican communion follow. It’s called “common prayer” because we all pray it together, around the world. The first Book of Common Prayer was compiled in English by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th Century, and since then has undergone many revisions for different times and places. The present prayer book for the Episcopal Church was published in 1979. But its original purpose has remained the same: To explain Christianity, describe the main beliefs of the Church, outline the requirements for the sacraments, and in general serve as the main guidelines of the Episcopal life.

Page numbers for parts of the service that use the Book of Common Prayer are announced and are given in the weekly bulletin. But do not be embarrassed to ask your neighbor for the page number.

Holy Communion

All are welcome to come forward to receive Communion, both the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation. You are invited to stand or kneel at the altar rail. There are various ways to receive Communion – the most common being to receive the bread in your hand and wait to dip it into the chalice as it is offered.

After the Service

At the end of the service, we sit to listen to the organ postlude.  Some people kneel for a private prayer before leaving. The priest greets the people as they leave. Directly following our services, we invite you to join us for Coffee Hour, a time of fellowship and refreshments in the Museum Room. Just follow the crowd!

Should you wish to know more about the Episcopal Church or about how to become an Episcopalian, our priest, Father Ennis, will gladly answer your questions and suggest the way to membership.