Committed to sharing Christ's Commandments: To love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, through worship, education and outreach.
What Happens at a Worship Service?
The Principal Sunday Service at St. Alban's is the Holy Eucharist. "Eucharist" is a very old word that means "thanksgiving." This service is also known as the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Communion, or the Mass; many different names for a well-known event.
The first part of the service is, The Service of the Word. "Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen." Members of the congregation will read passages from the Bible, and a Psalm is usually sung by everybody; then the Gospel will be proclaimed in the middle of the congregation. A sermon follows the reading of the Gospel that interprets these Bible lessons; then we pray together for the needs of community, the world and for our own needs. Following these prayers, those present greet one another in peace.
The second part of the service is, Holy Communion. "The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving." It is based on Jesus' last meal on earth with his friends, on the night before his crucifixion. The priest and the people say (or, at some services, sing) prayers together; some of these prayers are very ancient, while others are much newer. The story of The Last Supper is told during these prayers; the priest takes bread and wine, blesses it, breaks the bread, and the congregation comes forward to share it together.
The final part of the service is the dismissal. "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord." It is at the closing of the worship service that the priest charges us to go forward into the world to live a Christian life. We respond, "Thanks be to God".
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