Style of Service
At every worship service, we share Holy Eucharist, also called Holy Communion. We strike a balance between feeding on the Word and feeding at the Table. We feed on the scripture, and the preacher assigned for the day endeavors to break open the Word so that we can go deeper in its meaning. Then, we move to the Table where we bring our deepest hunger, and we fed in the bread and the wine, the gift of Jesus himself. Around these two basic movements of the service are woven prayers and praises, confession and grace that help us begin anew.
Each of our services also weaves in a two-minute period of silence after the sermon to allow the Spirit opportunity to speak to us in our own very particular place of need and longing. Our children learn to do this contemplative practice from age 3 on, and it is amazing how still they are in this silence. As our world becomes more and more stimulated, this practice of silence is needed more and more for the nurture of our souls.
If you have difficulty hearing, we do have hearing assistance devices available—please ask a greeter to obtain a headset.
The Episcopal tradition comes out of the rich, rich Anglican liturgical tradition. Some of it feels very, very old, in a good way, and some of it feels very, very contemporary, in a good way. We do our best to bring forward that which is old and tried and true which can ground us in the swirl of our face-paced world, but we are also open to fresh expressions that spring up whenever we are open to the movement of the Spirit. Each of our services has its own distinctive style and feel, but underneath each service you can feel a structure that is consistent, a sure and steady container to hold our deepest longings to be in communion with God, our neighbor, and our very selves.
Worship in the Episcopal Church takes you on a journey—you start in one place and find yourself moved through the words and actions, the prayers and praises and silence, to a different place, a place of renewal, a place of strength, a place where you are ready to reengage the world again.
During the School Year (from the Sunday after Labor Day through the Sunday before Memorial Day)
- 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite I (Chapel)
At 8 a.m. we share the Holy Eucharist in our Chapel to the right of the Sanctuary. We follow Rite I in The Book of Common Prayer. This form of worship hearkens back to our founding tradition and draws on the beauty of the English language as was spoken and prayed by our forebears. The language of the prayers is poetic and beautiful, and the theology grounds us in the depths of the Anglican tradition. There is no music at this service, and the quiet of the service lends itself to a more meditative experience. It is a smaller gathering, usually 10-25 people, and shorter in duration lasting 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- 10:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite II (Great Hall and Sanctuary)
We begin this service by gathering in the Great Hall at 10:15 a.m. to sing to those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. We then share Glad News and Sad News and ask the community’s prayers. We move into the Sanctuary to share the Holy Eucharist following the Rite II order in The Book of Common Prayer. Rite II uses the more informal English language.
The music at this service draws on a wide variety of styles. The organ accompanies many of our hymns, but we also use piano, recorder, flute, guitar, African drum, violin, tambourines, and any other instrument we can think of. We sing pieces out of the Celtic tradition, the Gospel tradition, Taize chant, songs out of other Christian traditions, songs from other parts of the world, as well as more traditional pieces out of the Anglican tradition. In other words, the range of music is immense! The music is led by our St Luke’s Choir.
The other hallmark of this service is the involvement of children and youth. They serve as acolytes and crucifers, they read the lessons and lead the psalm, they take up the offering, and they process out with the priest. The preacher of the day regularly draws them into the sermon time and yet also preaches at the level to which our adults are accustomed. The engagement of the children and youth in this service gives this service a high energy, and also a certain amount of holy chaos. This holy chaos which makes this service a very comfortable space for those who have young children. There is a wonderful inter-generational feel to this service.
This service is highly participatory, high energy, lively, devotional in the very best evangelical heartfelt understanding of that word.
This service also uses the Rite II order in The Book of Common Prayer. The preaching in this service is a more traditional style from the center aisle.
The range of contemporary hymnody and anthems have much to contribute to our worship experience, and we are not afraid to avail ourselves of this experience, but we also know there is so much of the more classical tradition that we also wish to retain and allow to speak to us in our day and time. The music offered at this service take us to a different space, a transcendent space, a space where, as the Celtic tradition says, the veil between heaven and earth is very, very thing. The music at this service can absolutely transport you to another realm. If you are interested in singing or playing an instrument, please see the Music Director for this service, Ted Gulick, or e-mail the contact below.
While at the same time majestic, mystical, spacious, contemplative, devotional in the very best catholic deeply sacramental understanding of that word. In this service, we touch both the immance of God, the nearness of God, and the transcendence of God, the God who is always beyond our word and who draws our awe.
During the summer, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, we worship at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
- 8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite I (Chapel)
- 10:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist: Rite II (Great Hall and Sanctuary)
During the summer, our Choir takes a well-deserved break. We follow the Rite II order in The Book of Common Prayer. Our organist arranges for all kinds of special singers and musicians to join us which gives our summer worship a wonderfully eclectic feel. We begin in the Great Hall with the celebration of birthdays and anniversaries and the sharing of Glad News and Sad News. Children and youth participate as acolytes, crucifers, readers, psalmists, as well as taking up the offering and processing out with the priest. Sometimes, the sermon is a more traditional sermon, and sometimes, the preacher will pull the children into the drama of the Word. In this service, we try to make space for the wonderful variety that makes up the St. Luke’s community.
While we have these different expressions of worship, we are one community. Several times a year, we gather together to worship as one and to share a meal afterward. There is a great honoring of the breadth of our worship tradition at St. Luke’s and a great love of one another. For us, we always strive to be a both/and community, and not an either/or expression. There is too much good in the breadth and depth of our Christian liturgical tradition to leave anything by the side of the road.
Worship is the heartbeat of who we are at St. Luke’s. It is where we are nourished to be the blessing that God calls us to be in the world. We hope your hunger and thirst for God will be satisfied at this Table. If you have any questions about our worship, please talk to our priest, Cyndi Banks.