What's worship like at St. Matthew's?

stained glass angel

Sunday Mornings we usually celebrate Eucharist using Rite II.

If that sentence made no sense to you, don't worry. It was there for the experienced Episcopalians. What it means is that almost every Sunday is a Communion (Lord's Supper) Sunday and that the language we use is a bit more modern. Our hymns are traditional and we are a liturgical church, which means that the proceedings are mapped out in advance and there is a lot of congregational participation.

Stand up, sit down, kneel, cross yourself

All those gestures do have meanings, and you may want to eventually learn what to do and why. At the beginning, though, don't worry about it. Just observe and join in as much as you feel comfortable.

Probably the best way to learn what to do and when to do it is to watch someone who seems to know. And don't get too worried. Nobody will come around and accuse you of crossing yourself the wrong way.

By the way, you will notice a lot of variety in this department. Some people have trouble kneeling, so they don't. Others do things differently because they came from a different tradition. Nobody is watching you to make sure you do it "right."

All those books

Episcopal churches are famous for making people juggle three books (two songbooks and a prayer book). We have tried to simplify worship by putting all the prayers and scripture readings in a printed program. If that's still too confusing, just sit and listen. The content of the prayers and the Bible readings is far more important than being on the right page.

What should I wear?

Pretty much anything you choose. Our building is not air conditioned, so in the summer, you might like to imitate some of our members and show up in shorts and sandals.

Can I take communion?

The general answer is yes. If you have been baptized—in any Christian tradition whatsoever—you are welcome at the altar rail. If you have mobility problems, let the priest know beforehand, and you can receive the Eucharist at your pew.

About the contents of that cup

Yes, it really is wine. If that presents a problem, here are a couple of options:

And afterwards

3rd Sacrament

We would like you to stay for coffee hour (which is more like a full lunch most days). Don't worry that you didn't bring anything. You are our guest.

(By the way, coffee isn't a third sacrament, but it sometimes feels that way, and you can see from that picture that we don't always take ourselves very seriously.)