Worship at St. John’s
The worship at St. John’s follows historic patterns of praise and prayer set forth in the 1928 American Prayer Book and the 1940 Episcopalian Hymnal, with some additional material that is compatible in style and content with these books. By intention it is formal, reserved, reverent, dignified, somewhat archaic, and conducted with a measure of ceremony and ornament, in outward expression of the call to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”.
- 8 a.m., a quiet, said celebration of Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper or Holy Eucharist).
- 9:30 a.m. All Ages Christian Education
- 10:30 a.m. is the principal service: either the Eucharist, or Morning Prayer, with hymns, choral music, and a sermon. On certain high days this may be preceded by a procession, include the use of incense, and make use of elaborate ceremonial.
- Noon a quiet, said celebration of Holy Communion in the chapel
- 5:30 p.m. (about a dozen Sundays in the year): Choral Evensong
Monday to Friday through the year, in the Chapel
- 8:15 a.m. Morning Prayer
- 5:30 p.m. Evening Prayer
On major feast days (red letter days) Holy Communion is also celebrated at these times.
In addition, on Wednesdays in the Chapel through the year:
- 9:45 a.m. Litany
- 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist (sung or said)
MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER
Morning and Evening Prayer are services that developed out of the Church’s ancient disciplines of daily prayer. Each service falls into three parts: (1) aPenitential introduction, to make us hungry for God’s grace (Confession and Absolution of Sin), (2) Praise and Proclamation of God’s grace and glory (through psalms, lessons, and canticles), and (3) Prayer that lays claims the Grace promised in his Word in order to fulfill his Will. On Sundays, this may be followed by announcements, a Sermon, an Offering, and Final Prayers, together with Hymns. Monday to Friday these services are said simply in the Chapel, at 8:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. respectively. The order of these services is found in the Prayer Book, pp 3-20, 21-34.
In addition to our weekday Evening Prayer, Wednesday Evensong services in the fall offers a fully choral evensong service one Sunday per month. Following the tradition of English cathedrals the Girls, Boys and Adult Choirs combine to sing the Evening Prayers of the Church as set to music by the great English and Anglican composers. The psalms are sung to Anglican chant, and the two evening canticles – Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis – are sung to settings from as early as the 16th century to the present. In addition a major anthem is sung highlighting the theme of the day or the season. The congregation joins in on the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles Creed and the hymns.
In hearing the texts sung to more extended choral settings one is able to meditate on them and perhaps perceive new insight into them as each composer interprets these texts through music. The worshipper is engaged more through hearing than active participation, yet nevertheless can find that in listening his heart can be moved to add a silent “amen” to the prayers and praises sung by the choir.