What is the Episcopal Church?
Although it subscribes to the historic Creeds (the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed), considers the Bible to be divinely inspired, and holds the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper to be the central act of Christian worship, the Episcopal Church grants great latitude in interpretation of doctrine. It tends to stress less the confession of particular beliefs than the use of the Book of Common Prayer in public worship. This book, first published in the sixteenth century, even in its revisions, stands today as a major source of unity for Anglicans around the world.
What is the Anglican Communion?
How did the Episcopal Church get started?
What does “Episcopal” mean?
Is the Episcopal Church Protestant or Catholic?
Wasn’t the Church of England founded by Henry VIII?
Isn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury the Anglican Pope?
How is the church governed?
Churches that are not self-sustaining are called “missions.” Often they are newly formed congregations, or congregations with a very small membership. These churches are administered by the bishop’s office. The head priest of a mission is called a “vicar” because he or she serves as the bishop’s representative.
All individual congregations are part of a larger geographical area called a “diocese,” which is lead by a bishop. Some churches in the Anglican Communion also have larger administrative districts called “archdioceses,” which are comprised of several dioceses and are administered by “archbishops.” The Episcopal Church (TEC) does not have archdioceses or archbishops. Instead we give primacy to a “Presiding Bishop,” who is elected to serve a nine-year term.
ABOUT EPISCOPAL WORSHIP
What should I wear to an Episcopal Service?
What basic things should I expect upon first visiting an Episcopal service?
The Episcopal Church uses two main books at any given service. Both are found at your seat. These books are the red Book of Common Prayer and the blue 1982 Hymnal. Page numbers will be announced. At Christ Church, we use a service bulletin with which you can follow the entire service. You may ask, “Where is the Bible?” All services include scripture readings from the Bible, and the readings are found in your service bulletin, to make it easier to follow along and to limit the number of books we have to juggle.
At Christ church, from Labor Day until Memorial Day, following the 8:00 AM service, you are welcome to join us for our 9:00 AM coffee hour and Adult Forum, a presentation on a matter of faith. After the second service, be sure to come to cider in the hall or lemonade on the lawn, depending on the time of year.
When do I stand, sit, or kneel?
Do I have to pay anything to go to church?
Is there anything in the Episcopal service which may embarrass me?
What is “The Book of Common Prayer”?
How do Episcopalians worship?
Does the church celebrate other rites?
How can I learn more about Episcopal worship practices?
I’m planning on visiting an Episcopal Church. May I take communion?
I am handicapped and am unable to walk to the Altar to receive communion. Can I still receive communion?
What are the sacraments of the Episcopal Church?
Does the Episcopal Church baptize infants?
At what age may a child take communion?
Does the Episcopal Church ordain women to the clergy?
How do I join the Episcopal Church? Do I need to be confirmed?
I have already been baptized in another church. If I become an Episcopalian, do I need to be re-baptized?