10:00 a.m: Contemporary Eucharistic Service
Sunday School and Youth Club are held during the 10:00 a.m. service.
If you haven’t been to an Anglican Church service – or haven’t been for a long time – you may wonder what to expect on a Sunday morning. St. Alban’s is very welcoming of newcomers and visitors and we try to make our worship service easy to follow for new people. The whole service (including the words for the songs) is projected onto a screen at the front of the church so you don’t have to worry about what comes next.
Our Sunday worship services is taken primarily from the Book of Alternative services and includes Bible readings and sermon. (see below on this page for more details)
Our Worship Space
When you enter the sanctuary of St. Alban’s you are immediately drawn into a warm and welcoming place to worship God.
In the rich wood paneling of its walls and the traditional Biblical scenes of its stained-glass windows — you can almost hear the echoes of over 100 years of Christian prayers and singing.
For us, coming to St. Alban’s is like coming home.
You may not be familiar with our Anglican service, but please do not feel uncomfortable. Stand, sit or kneel as you wish and join us in prayer and worship. Each week we celebrate Holy Communion in a participatory, congregational style. Our priest and a team of lay people lead the service each week and everyone joins in the responses, prayers and singing.
What to Expect at a Sunday Service
It isn’t necessary to be familiar with the service to come and worship with us, but some people feel more comfortable if they know what to expect before they come. So if you are one of those people keep reading…
Welcome and Coming In
You will probably be welcomed by a greeter when you come in the front door. You will be given a photocopied order of service (referred to as the ‘bulletin’) that includes much of the wording for the service (or page numbers for where to find the words for those parts not included in full) and also the words for the songs that will be sung. Besides the Bulletin we have the whole service projected on a screen at the front so you don’t need to worry about figuring out what comes next! You are invited to find yourself a seat wherever you feel comfortable – there are no ‘reserved’ pews!
The Service Begins
The service begins when the priest announces the first hymn and everyone (who is able to) stands up to sing. The priest, Lay Assistant, Server and sometimes the choir (as well as any Sunday School children present) will walk in from the back of the church and take their places while this song is being sung. The priest will welcome everyone and we all join in some prayers. The adults are then invited to sit down and the priest talks to the children before they go off to Sunday School. Visiting children are welcome to join the Sunday school or they can stay with you. The purpose of this (usually fairly short) section of the service is to gather the assembled people and prepare us to listen for the Word of God and to enter in to the celebration of Eucharist.
We Listen for God Speaking to Us
The service proceeds with several fairly short readings from the Bible. The readings are based on a set 3-year schedule. We sit to listen to the first 2 readings but we stand when the Gospel is read. The readings are followed by a sermon. In our tradition the sermon usually lasts around 12 minutes or so.
After a minute of silence for prayer and reflection, the priest invites everyone to stand again and the service usually proceeds with everyone saying together one of the historic creeds (a statement of the basics of the Christian faith written in the 3rd Century). You will then be invited to stand, sit or kneel as a member of the congregation leads “The Prayers of the People.” In it we pray for the church, the world, the sick and suffering, those who have died and other matters depending on what is happening in the world and our lives. Most weeks the priest then leads a short “confession and absolution” where we are encouraged to acknowledge our own brokenness and failings before God and then the priest pronounces God’s forgiveness. The Anglican Church doesn’t dwell on guilt or sin but we do acknowledge it as part of the human condition. This section of the service ends with the Passing of the Peace. We usually pass the peace by shaking hands with those around us and saying “the peace of the Lord be with you” or more simply ‘Peace’.
The Celebration of the Eucharist
This final section of the service begins with another hymn. While we sing the Offertory Hymn we pass offering plates where people place their financial gifts to God. While all gifts are gratefully received, you can pass the plate on without putting anything on it without embarrassment. We take the offering as part of our worship to remind ourselves that we are giving to God for all the blessings that God has given us, and not just the church. We then join in a prayer over the offered gifts and then the priest leads the prayer of consecration over the bread and wine. After saying the Lord’s Prayer together everyone is invited to come forward to have communion. In our tradition we invite all baptised Christians of every denomination to join us for communion. Just come forward to the front of the church when invited to do so by one of the Sidespeople and either kneel or stand at the altar rail. When the priest comes to you just put out your hands and he or she will place a wafer (or sometimes a small chunk of bread) on your palm. You then can either eat it immediately and then sip the wine when it is offered to you, or hold on to the wafer and dip the edge in the wine when it is offered and then eat it. The bread and wine will be offered to you with a phrase such as “The body of Christ which is broken for you” or “The blood of Christ shed for you”. The response is “amen” but you can remain silent if you wish. If you don’t wish to receive communion simply cross your arms over your chest when the priest approaches and he or she will give you a blessing instead. Once you have received communion you return to your seat by going out the side door. When communion is finished there are some closing prayers, the announcements and a final (usually very lively!) hymn.
When the service is over everyone is invited to stay for coffee, tea, juice and ‘goodies’ in the Hall.