Book of Common Prayer

In the Anglican Tradition (churches around the world descendant of the Church of England), our worship is guided by the Book of Common Prayer, the first edition of which was forged among the reformations in England in the 16th century. Each autonomous church (like The Episcopal Church, in our case, or the Anglican Church of Canada or the present Church of England) maintains its own Book of Common Prayer, with "Common" meaning each congregation uses the same text, even though the liturgy may look a little different from church to church. In The Episcopal Church, the Book of Common Prayer 1979 is the current edition.

The Book of Common Prayer includes the public worship services like the Eucharist, as well as special liturgies for Holy Week and more. In addition to the Eucharist, it contains the rites for all of the sacraments – baptism, confirmation, marriage, ordination, and anointing of the sick. Burial rites and many other offices are found here, too. The opening pages provide the "common" prayer of the Anglican Tradition, the Daily Office, which consists of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. The Daily Office is the normal prayer cycle of all Anglicans each day, either private or in public worship. In some places, sung Evening Prayer (known as Evensong) is the most popular worship service in the church.

The Holy Eucharist (Commonly called the Mass)

A number of metaphors can be used for describing the sacrament of Holy Communion and the service in which it is celebrated. A helpful pair is that of [1] a meal around a table, and [2] a sacrifice on an altar. Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Communion on the night before he was killed in a ritual meal shared with friends (and even his betrayer) around a table. Christ's death on the cross the next day was the one sacrifice for the sins of the whole world that brought true atonement. Christ offered himself as the bread of life, and continues to offer himself to us in the bread and wine – consecrated by a priest on the altar – as we offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The service includes readings from the holy scriptures, a sermon, prayers for the church and the world, and hymns led by our organist.

At Saint Luke's Church, ALL baptized Christians (regardless of denominational affiliation) are welcome to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion from Christ’s altar. Holy Baptism is full initiation into the Church and grants any who have been baptized a share in the Church’s feast, which Christ offers of himself to his Body on earth; the bond between Christ and his Church is then strengthened by the Holy Eucharist (BCP, 298 & 858-860). Because Christ is fully present in each the Bread and Wine, you may receive in only one kind (Bread or Wine) for any reason.

Our current schedule of Sunday services includes the Holy Eucharist on the first and third Sundays of each month, as well as the quarterly fifth Sunday. The Mass is normally celebrated by our Vicar, though guest priests celebrate on occasion.

Morning Prayer

As mentioned above, the normal prayer cycle for Anglicans is to pray the Daily Office of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer each day. Some churches offer these services every day of the week, though we are currently not meeting for these services. In Anglican Tradition, it has been the norm across time and space for the principal service on any given Sunday to be Morning Prayer, not the Holy Eucharist. The prayers Anglicans would pray privately through the week would be prayed in community on Sundays. The service includes the praying of several psalms, readings from the holy scriptures, a homily, prayers for the church and the world, and hymns led by Sacred & Secular.

Our current schedule of Sunday services includes Morning Prayer on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Morning Prayer is normally officiated by a lay worship leader.

Feasts & Fasts

In addition to our Sunday worship, we meet throughout the year for feasts and fasts as prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer. One of the most-attended non-Sunday services of the year, for example, is Christmas Eve. Like Christmas, many feasts have fixed dates that don't often fall on Sundays (such as Epiphany, Ascension, and All Saints' Day). Additionally, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, and other fasts of the year include services of public worship. We meet for Principal Feasts, Feasts of Our Lord, and some other Major Feasts. Check the Church Calendar for service times on these days.

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