What’s a service like?
Worship services include readings from the Old and New Testaments, a Psalm, a sermon based on the day’s scriptures, an affirmation of faith using one of the Creeds, congregational prayers, several congregational hymns and choral anthems, and a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
What’s a liturgy?
As an Episcopal church, Good Shepherd follows a liturgy, which is a pattern of scripture readings, prayers, and congregational responses that are set forth in the Book of Common Prayer and, for ease of use, reprinted in the service program. Although the content of services changes from week to week, the pattern of worship remains basically the same throughout the year.
The Book of Common Prayer, in addition to being a wonderful aid to worship, is one of the great literary achievements of the English language. Two-thirds of the prayers and responses in the Book of Common Prayer are themselves taken from the Bible.
You can participate!
The congregational responses throughout the service make Episcopal worship participatory worship. And, because the service is printed in the Sunday bulletin, it is easy for visitors to follow and join in, if you so desire. Finally, many — but by no means all of us — kneel or cross ourselves at various points in the service. These actions are personal aids to worship and are purely optional. If you don’t feel comfortable worshiping in this way, that’s no problem; if you find these traditions helpful, that’s great too!