“As a visitor to St. Paul’s, it was easy to be swept up to fully participate in the liturgy because it was confident, well done and a genuine expression of the spiritual life of the body. It was simply true.”
The Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves and The Rt. Rev. Michael Perham
The Hospitality of God: Emerging Worship for a Missional Church
St. Paul’s has long been renowned for its commitment to the beauty and profundity of its liturgy: liturgy that engages all the senses, attests to the mystery of a loving God, honors the beauty and dignity of being human, and forms its people for their Christian lives in the world. We gather as God’s loved people; some in jeans, others more dressed up. We fully use the treasures of the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer (1979) as well as the Book of Occasional Services and The Hymnal 1982. We are a parish in the Anglo-Catholic tradition with members who have come from many other traditions.
At St. Paul’s, worship stands at the center of who we are. The core pattern of worship in the Episcopal Church’s tradition is threefold made of Holy Eucharist, the Daily Office and Personal Prayer.
Many people put in numerous hours each week contributing to every aspect of the liturgy. These include the St. Gregory’s Guild (a lay group that advises the Rector), sacristans, flower arrangers, acolytes, Eucharistic ministers, bread-bakers, and musicians. Our approach to worship is intentional and is supported by the work of many.
An important part of our worship is punctuation of the liturgy with periods of silence. Our brief or sometimes lingering moments of silence focus our attention on the present, rather than rushing to the next thing. We listen, we engage, we reflect, we move on, we stay grounded.