Worship at St. Giles
First, some basics:
Origins: Worship in the Episcopal Church has its roots in the earliest Christian communities; it is both comprehensive and traditional. Through the centuries our language of worship has changed and expanded, but the structure remains much the same: we seek to offer our praise and thanks to God, to lift up to God our prayers of intercession and thanksgiving, to hear what God may be saying to us through scripture and proclamation, and to celebrate Christ’s presence through the Holy Spirit in the celebration of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. Our primary worship source in the Episcopal Church is The Book of Common Prayer – “Common” not because it is ordinary, but because it was created to be accessible and used by all.
Participation in Worship: we refer to our worship as liturgy, from two Greek words meaning “the work of the people”. Everyone present participates, and all are welcome. We begin by showing up! Those who would like to take a leadership role in the liturgy may serve as readers (of scripture lessons), intercessors (prayer leaders), acolytes (those who carry items in procession, light candles, help at the altar/table, etc.), and chalice administrators (helping to distribute communion). Ushers and greeters help welcome worshippers. Those who like to sing may join the choir (see more on “Our Music” below). While some specific portions of the liturgy are reserved to the clergy, there can be no worship without a congregation and the participation of the people.
Ritual: our worship services follow a specific pattern that originated in the early Church (as mentioned above), thus some elements are the same from week to week or season to season. But variety and richness abound! There is tremendous breadth in the choices we have in worship, from language reminiscent of the original book compiled in 1549 during the reign of England’s King Edward VI, to prayers and worship offered in contemporary language and images. Our hymnody (that is, the songs we sing in church) is similarly diverse in musical style, language, and imagery.
Theology: our theology (that is, what we believe about God) is formed by our prayer. In fact a phrase you may hear in the Episcopal Church is lex orandi, lex credendi – “the law of prayer is the law of belief”. In other words, we understand who God is, we grow in relationship with Jesus Christ, and we experience the presence of the Holy Spirit by praying and worshipping together. We do not ask for adherence to a doctrinal statement or confession; we do embrace the Church’s basic statement of corporate faith as found in the Nicene Creed, whick has guided Christian faith for nearly 17 centuries. We bring our faith to our worship, but we also bring questions, doubts, grief, and celebration.
Music at St. Giles
From ancient plainsong to Taize chant, from the richest hymnody of the Anglican and Protestant traditions to Shaker tunes, spirituals, songs from other cultures, and 21st century church music, we sing it all!
Anthem Schedule - Easter Season to Pentecost
April 7 (Easter 2) - Rise up, my love, my fair one (H. Willan)
April 14 (Easter 3) - If ye love me (P. Wilby) duet: Give thanks to the Lord (R. Dirksen)
April 21 (Easter 4) - Jubilate Deo (B. Britten)
April 28 (Easter 5) - And I saw a new heaven (E. Bainton)
May 5 (Easter 6) - Sweet Canaan, from The Sacred Harp (arr. M. Shaffer)
May 12 (Easter 7) - Lift up your heads, O ye gates (W. Mathias)
May 19 (Pentecost) - A New Song (J. MacMillan)
If ye love me (T. Tallis)
Hellmuth Wolff Organ
For information about our wonderful Hellmuth Wolff organ, click here