What to Expect

Worship is the center of our community’s life together, and the Eucharist is the center of our worship. All are welcome at God’s table.

If you are attending a service at St. Patrick’s for the first time, here are some things you may notice, especially if you have never worshiped with an Episcopal congregation:

  • The service is a rich celebration filled with color, light, music, and movement, much of which changes with the seasons of the Church year.
  • The congregation participates actively throughout the service: speaking, singing, standing, and bowing – many make the sign of the cross.
  • There is much singing in the service.
  • The service may seem structured and formal.
  • The roles of leadership are shared by many, both lay and ordained: men, women, and children.
  • There are also long silences.

No one is a spectator in our services: all are participants. Different people have different roles, but all roles are important. The people in the congregation are no less participants in our worship than those with different functions who sit in the front.

We refer to our services as Liturgy, which means the official corporate worship of the Church (corporate being what we do together as a Body, as opposed to what we do as individuals). The word “liturgy” comes from the Greek, meaning “a work done by the people.”

The first time or two, it is just fine to simply let the sights and sounds of the Liturgy wash over you and worry less about page numbers than about opening your heart, mind, and senses to the experience of worship. Then you can begin to learn to participate more actively in the service.

A more detailed explanation of how we worship is located in the Instructed Eucharist—and you can always ask our Clergy or the person next to you in the pew. Don’t be shy about asking those around you for assistance; we are happy to help.