An Anglican service is a liturgical service, meaning that we follow forms of worship used in the early church. Although formal, the form of service is neither dry nor difficult. The form of worship is provided each Sunday so that the fellowship can worship together, regardless of whether one is familiar with the Anglican service or not. For additional resources, follow the Lectionary and the Bible Reading Plan of Ross's Meditations blog.
Reading of the Scripture
Before the pastor preaches the sermon, a previously selected church member reads the scripture passage aloud. Upon the conclusion of the reading, the reader says, “The word of the Lord.” And the congregation responds, “Thanks be to God.”
Prayers of the People
Immediately upon concluding his sermon, the pastor (or a previously selected leader) leads the congregation in a time of prayer for the universal church, the nation, the world, the local community, and the concerns of the local congregation. Between each of these prayers, the pastor says, “Lord, in your mercy . . . “ and the congregation responds, “Hear our prayers.” This may vary depending on which form we use in a given service.
Congregational Prayer of Confession
Immediately following the Prayers of the People, the leader will turn the congregation’s attention to the confessional words and lead in unison . . .
“Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.”
“The Passing of the Peace”
“The Passing of the Peace” is an ancient Christian tradition that we continue during the worship service immediately following the congregational prayer of confession. We “pass the peace” to extend our forgiveness to others in recognition that God has forgiven us our sins. (Matt. 5:23-24). When we “pass the peace” of Christ to the other members of the congregation, we say, “The peace of the Lord be with you” and respond, “And also with you.” We sometimes reinforce the words with a hand-shake or hug, but it is not necessary. In “passing the peace” to each other on a weekly basis, we remind ourselves that we must forgive each other any offenses as well as wishing our Christian brothers and sisters Christ’s perfect peace.
We begin our celebration of communion with the Doxology and these words:
Pastor: “The Lord be with you.”
Congregational Response: “And also with you.”
Pastor: “Lift up your hearts.”
Congregational Response: “We lift them up to the Lord.”
Pastor: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Congregational Response: “It is right to give Him thanks and praise”
We celebrate each communion by proceeding row by row to the front of the church where the pastor gives the congregate a piece of bread and says, “The body of Christ, broken for you.” On either side of the pastor, a chalicer administers the wine and says, “The blood of Christ, shed for you.” You may either dip the bread in the wine or sip the wine after eating the bread.
You are encouraged to bring your children with you during the celebration of communion. If they are not yet prepared to receive communion, the pastor will place his hand on their head and speak a blessing over them. If you are not prepared to receive communion, you may either remain in your seat or you may come up to the front during the celebration of communion, crossing your arms to indicate to the pastor that you wish to receive prayer.
At the conclusion of the service, the worship leader says to the congregation: “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord” and the congregation responds, “Thanks be to God. Alleluia.”