“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” - Acts 2:42
The Church is first and foremost a worshiping community. Liturgy (literally, the work of the people) is the main occupation and chief joy of the people of God. From praise of God, everything else flows. Scripture is the foundation of worship in the Episcopal Church. The Book of Common Prayer, rooted in ancient Christian patterns of prayer, sets forth the order for Sunday worship as well as other rites of the Episcopal Church.
On Sundays at Christ Church Cathedral, page numbers for each part of the liturgy are noted in the bulletins and correspond to the pages of the Book of Common Prayer. Hymns are found in the Hymnal, 1982, the blue book in the pew racks. Anyone sitting near you will be happy to orient you further and answer questions about worship at the Cathedral.
Since the earliest days of the Church, Christians have relied on set forms of prayer to order their worship of God. The first Book of Common Prayer, published in 1549 by the bishops of the Church in England, sought to bring various ancient, historic patterns of prayer together in a single volume in the vernacular language of the people. Ever since, Anglicans around the world—those churches that trace their roots to the Church of England—have relied on prayer books in their worship. Amid significant theological, cultural, and political diversity, the principle of common prayer has provided a unified and unifying language capable of bridging difference.
The current version of the Book of Common Prayer used in the Episcopal Church was produced in 1979. Not only do Episcopalians use the Book of Common Prayer for the conduct of public worship, it is also the guide for private prayer and the source of most of our theology. It is a way of life, the particular way of life in which Episcopalians participate in the drama of redemption.
“As if a Christian could exist without the Eucharist, or the Eucharist be celebrated without a Christian! Don’t you know that a Christian is constituted by the Eucharist, and the Eucharist by a Christian?” - from The Acts of St. Saturninus and Companions
The Holy Eucharist (sometimes called Holy Communion, the Mass, or the Lord’s Supper) is the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day. In it, the congregation hears and responds to the Word of God and receives forgiveness, nourishment, and strength by the Real Presence of our Lord in the Sacrament. The leader of worship (often called the “Celebrant”) in a Christian assembly is normally a bishop or priest. The Episcopal Church invites visitors baptized in any Christian tradition to share the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion. If you are not baptized, but would like to be, please speak to a member of the clergy.
At Christ Church Cathedral, the Holy Eucharist is celebrated each weekday at 12:15 p.m. in the Chapel and at each Sunday liturgy.