Worship in the Episcopal Church Tradition
Our worship services reflect the traditions and practices of the Episcopal Church. We have two services each Sunday, with Holy Eucharist at each service. St. Paul’s has a long tradition of outstanding music programs, choirs and services. Click here to learn more about the Music Program.
During COVID time we offer Holy Eucharist at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday
and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
These services is offered both in-person and online.
Please see the home page for detailed information
Sunday Mornings, the 8:00 a.m. service is Holy Eucharist Rite I, without music. The 10:30am service includes Eucharist each Sunday (10am during summer months), with a rotation of Holy Eucharist Rite II on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month,
and Rite I Morning Prayer followed by Eucharist on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.
Sunday Mornings our nursery provides infant and child care from 9:30 a.m. until the end of the 10:30 a.m. service (10am during summer months).
Each Wednesday at 5:30pm we gather for Evening Prayer and Eucharist. This is a contemplative service that features periods of silence to allow for a deeply spiritual experience, unlike any other.
In addition to our Sunday morning services, we have four to five Celtic Evensong services per year, all beginning at 5pm. These are very unique and special services as they draw from ancient and modern elements of traditional Celtic worship, including the prayers, music and even the musical instruments used. The services are in the evening and are set in candle light with only as much artificial light as is necessary. Hundreds of candles of all sizes are set in the church along with ficus trees and other natural elements that transform our beautiful sanctuary into a setting of nature, peace and calm. This service is one of many worshipers’ favorite opportunities to connect with the Spirit in a profound, simple and deeply spiritual way.
Please follow this link to The Lectionary Page for all three year Lectionary cycle readings.
During the services, you will find guidelines on when to sit, kneel or stand located in your service leaflet in italics. Sunday services have Holy Eucharist, otherwise known as Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, etc. At St. Paul’s, we gather at the Lord’s Table, not an Episcopal table, and all baptized Christians in attendance are welcome and encouraged to receive Communion. If you prefer to receive a blessing when you come to the altar rail, simply cross your arms across you chest, and a clergy will give you a blessing.
To receive communion: Approach the altar, kneel or stand as you are comfortable, and cup your right hand in your left in front of you. The priest will place a wafer in your hand and you may consume it immediately and drink from the chalice of wine, or you may dip your wafer in the cup of wine and then consume it. If you drink from the common cup, lightly guide the cup to you mouth by placing your hand at the base of the chalice.
Seven Sacraments are recognized in the Book of Common Prayer: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Ordination, Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Unction.
God’s grace meets us in countless and often unexpected ways. The sacraments of the Church are those rites in which God has promised always to meet us. Sacramental rites are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace.
Holy Baptism: The sacrament of Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body in the church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble. Each candidate for Baptism is sponsored by one or more baptized persons. At St. Paul’s, Baptism is offered on the following Sundays: All Saints, the Baptism of Our Lord, Easter, Pentecost, and the Bishop’s annual visitation.
Holy Eucharist: Eucharist is a Greek term meaning “Thanksgiving.” Holy Eucharist is the sacrament by which we express our deep thanksgiving for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At Holy Eucharist, the Communion of Christ’s body and blood is administered in bread and wine. In faith we say that Christ is present in these holy elements by the mystery of God. The grace imparted through Holy Eucharist is three-fold. It is backward-looking in blessed memory to the manifestation of God’s love on the cross. It is in the present moment for us a spiritual nourishment for our journey in faith. It is future-oriented as a foretaste of God’s heavenly banquet in which the creation will be made whole and all people will eat at the feast of the Lamb.
Confirmation: In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected, when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature, public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism. At St. Paul’s, Confirmation is offered on the Sunday of the Bishop’s annual visitation. Candidates must attend an eight-week course in order to prepare for Confirmation. For more information on when the next class will occur, please email or call the Parish office.
Holy Matrimony: Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people in the presence of God. In the Episcopal Church it is required that one of the parties be a baptized Christian. For more information about Weddings at St. Paul’s, please contact the Parish office.
Reconciliation of a Penitent: God absolves our sin and frees us from sin’s burden whenever we ask for forgiveness with an authentically penitent heart and a conviction to amend our lives. Often, great comfort is found when God’s absolution is confidently pronounced to us by another faithful member of the Body of Christ. Reconciliation of a Penitent is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. Reconciliation is always available in the Episcopal Church. If you experience the need for this sacrament, please contact one of St. Paul’s clergy.
Unction: Unction is the sacrament of healing whereby one who is ill is anointed with holy oil. In the case of illness or hospitalization, the church should be notified so a healing service can be performed. A healing service is also offered at the 8:00 am service on the 1st Sunday of the month and at the 10:00 am service on the 3rd Sunday of the month.
Ordination: There are three orders of ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church: Bishops, Presbyters (or Priests) and Deacons. Bishops carry on the apostolic work of leading, supervising and uniting the Church. Presbyters share in the governance of the Church, in the carrying out of its missionary and pastoral work and in the preaching of the Word of God and administering His holy Sacraments. The Deacon assists the Bishop and Priests with all of this work. It is also a special responsibility of Deacons to minister in Christ’s name to the poor, the sick, the suffering and the helpless.
|The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia||The Episcopal Church USA|
|Phoebe Needles Center||Episcopal News Service|