Worship Services

We invite everyone to worship with us—the faithful, the skeptic, the seeker, even the heretic!

From our beginnings, we Anglicans have believed in religious toleration, and that the fullest expression of the Christian faith contains elements that are both Catholic and Protestant. Elizabeth I of England said, "There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith.... All else is a dispute over trifles." She also declared that she had "no desire to make windows into men's souls," indicating that what we believe in our hearts is between us and God-our own personal business, not something with which the church interferes.

We are Christian people, who worship the Triune God, one God in three persons, historically expressed as "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." We proclaim the only one God, who is creator of heaven and earth. We are followers of Jesus of Nazareth, who we accept as our Savior and obey as our Lord. And we worship together, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth and brings us into love and harmony with God, with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with all creation.

Our Sunday worship begins at 10 a.m. and is usually centered on the Holy Eucharist (also called the Mass, the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion). Occasionally, we alternate this service with Morning Prayer, another beautiful and particularly Anglican form of worship. Nursery care is available.

We also hold an additional service on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. in the Lady Chapel. These services are held about twice a month, working around other activities, the Rector's schedule, and the needs of the community. Check the Sunday announcements and the online calendar for specific information. This is a simple, informal service of the Holy Eucharist and includes prayer for healing, with the laying-on of hands, as well as prayers for peace.

Our worship is based on a rich liturgical tradition of ancient Christian rituals that go all the way back to the early church, and on fixed texts found in The Book of Common Prayer. This has its origin in the Church of England, which is why Episcopalians are also known as Anglicans-- we are a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with over 80 million members in 44 separate church bodies in over 160 countries. The Archbishop of Canterbury in England is our spiritual leader and symbol of unity here on earth.

Our liturgy requires the active participation of the whole congregation in prayer, song, and action. We engage our minds, bodies, and souls, and all of our senses in worship. We sing quite a bit, and we invite you to bring the voice God gave you to join in our joyful song. Anglican worship is sometimes reflective, sometimes solemn, but it's also joyous, and even awe inspiring. It can sometimes seem a bit complex to newcomers, so we print a complete and 'user-friendly' service bulletin, containing everything you need to participate fully in our worship.

Children gather in the church with their families for the opening of the service. After sharing a few hymns and the Collect of the Day, a call to worship, the children and their teachers go to the Archangel Michael Classroom for a lesson, project, or story. Some children also serve as acolytes, leading the entrance and exit processions, and serving at the altar. Our service is designed so they, too, may attend Sunday School.

We base our sermons on Biblical texts that are read throughout the year in a prescribed order as outlined in the Common Lectionary (link), which gives us an opportunity to read through the Bible in a 3 year cycle.

To get a sense of a "typical" sermon, have a look at the following samples: Sermon-1, Sermon-2, Sermon-3, Children's Sermon.

Special Worship Services

Periodically, we celebrate a Youth Sunday, in which children and youth participate in the entire service. We also schedule extra services to celebrate Christmas, Easter week, and other holy days and special observances.

the Sacraments

We welcome inquiries about Baptism, the sacrament by which we are formally adopted as children of God. Anyone of any age may be baptized as a sign of full membership in the body of Christ.

Each year, we also offer Confirmation, in which those who are prepared to make a mature public commitment to Christ kneel before a bishop to receive the laying-on of hands. In the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, this is an event that joins people from several parishes, sometimes at the Diocesan Cathedral, Trinity and St. Philip's. Those in the eighth grade or above are eligible, and periodically we offer a preparation program just for adults.

Holy Matrimony is the sacramental rite by which two persons enter into a life-long union, making a holy covenant before God. We are pleased to offer this sacrament to any two persons willing to take this step in earnest faith that they will find in this commitment to each other a greater intimacy and deeper love.

For Christians, physical death is the portal to the life eternal of ineffable joys. Therefore, we celebrate Christian Burial — the defiant, sure, and certain hope of resurrection. We mourn the loss of our loved ones, of course, but we also rejoice that their souls are in the hand of God.

Other sacramental rites are also available, including the blessing of a home, ministry with the sick or dying, honoring the end of a relationship, and the celebration of significant birthdays or anniversaries.

The Sacraments of the church are all available to anyone at any time. Some require extensive preparation, and consultation with the priest is helpful in all cases. Send e-mail to Father Barrie at the church (rector@annunciationoradell.org) or call 201-262-7222 for an appointment.

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