Style of Service
During COVID, we have used this challenge to weave together new and creative worship. Though in different locations, through technology and dedicated music staff and volunteers, we have been able to gather as one community. Any person can enter into worship from home, share the joys and concerns on their hearts, and be heard in the Sanctuary. Likewise, the people at home can hear the organ and piano, the singers, and all that is said in the Sanctuary. In keeping with the spirit of the St. Luke’s community, it is truly participatory and completely interactive.
How we approach worship
At every worship service, we share Holy Eucharist, also called Holy Communion. We strike a balance between feeding on the Word and feeding at the Table. We feed on the scripture, and the preacher assigned for the day endeavors to break open the Word so that we can go deeper in its meaning. Then, we move to the Table where we bring our deepest hunger, and we fed in the bread and the wine, the gift of Jesus himself. Around these two basic movements of the service are woven prayers and praises, confession and grace that help us begin anew.
Each of our services also weaves in a two-minute period of silence after the sermon to allow the Spirit opportunity to speak to us in our own very particular place of need and longing. Our children learn to do this contemplative practice from age 3 on, and it is amazing how still they are in this silence. As our world becomes more and more stimulated, this practice of silence is needed more and more for the nurture of our souls.
The Episcopal tradition comes out of the rich, rich Anglican liturgical tradition. Some of it feels very, very old, in a good way, and some of it feels very, very contemporary, in a good way. We do our best to bring forward that which is old and tried and true which can ground us in the swirl of our face-paced world, but we are also open to fresh expressions that spring up whenever we are open to the movement of the Spirit. Underneath each service you can feel a structure that is consistent, a sure and steady container to hold our deepest longings to be in communion with God, our neighbor, and our very selves.
Worship in the Episcopal Church takes you on a journey—you start in one place and find yourself moved through the words and actions, the prayers and praises and silence, to a different place, a place of renewal, a place of strength, a place where you are ready to reengage the world again.
- 8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite I (Chapel)
At 8:00 a.m. we share the Holy Eucharist in our Chapel to the right of the Sanctuary. We follow Rite I in The Book of Common Prayer. This form of worship hearkens back to our founding tradition and draws on the beauty of the English language as was spoken and prayed by our forebears. The language of the prayers is poetic and beautiful, and the theology grounds us in the depths of the Anglican tradition. There is no music at this service, and the quiet of the service lends itself to a more meditative experience. It is a smaller gathering, usually 10-25 people, and shorter in duration lasting 45 minutes to 1 hour. Currently, due to COVID, our 8:00 AM service is suspended.
- 10:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite II (Great Hall and Sanctuary)
We begin this service by gathering in the Great Hall at 10:15 a.m. to sing to those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. We then share Glad News and Sad News and ask the community’s prayers. We move into the Sanctuary to share the Holy Eucharist following the Rite II order in The Book of Common Prayer. Rite II uses the more informal English language.
We have a rich and varied musical tradition at St. Luke’s. While appreciating all the treasures of the classical and our Anglican tradition, we are not afraid to experience the full range of contemporary hymnody and anthems that contribute much to our worship experience. You may read more about our musical tradition at the Music tab.
Involvement of children and youth is a hallmark of this service. They serve as acolytes and crucifers, they read the lessons and lead the psalm, they take up the offering, and they process out with the priest. There is a wonderful inter-generational feel to this service.
This service is highly participatory, high energy, lively, devotional in the very best evangelical heartfelt understanding of that word. It is also majestic, mystical, spacious, contemplative, and devotional in the very best catholic deeply sacramental understanding of that word. In this service, we touch both the immanence of God, the nearness of God and the transcendence of God, the God who is always beyond our word and who draws our awe.
While we have these different expressions of worship, we are one community. There is a great honoring of the breadth of our worship tradition at St. Luke’s and a great love of one another. For us, we always strive to be a both/and community, and not an either/or expression. There is too much good in the breadth and depth of our Christian liturgical tradition to leave anything by the side of the road.
Worship is the heartbeat of who we are at St. Luke’s. It is where we are nourished to be the blessing that God calls us to be in the world. We hope your hunger and thirst for God will be satisfied at this Table. If you have any questions about our worship, please talk to our priest, Cyndi Banks.