About Our Worship

Worship in both the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches is based on a balance of Word and Sacrament.  Most of our services are Eucharists (a high-fallutin' Greek word meaning "thanksgiving"), which have two basic movements:  the service of the Word and the Communion.

The service of the Word consists of three readings from the Bible:  an Old Testament reading, a reading from one of the letters in the New Testament, a reading from one of the Gospels, and a sermon.  In conjunction with many other Christian denominations, we follow a three-year cycle of readings, which means that on any given Sunday Christians throughout the world in Episcopal, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic churches (and others) will be reading the same Scriptures.

While we always have this basic flow of Word and Sacrament, for the sake of variety we follow three different formats.  Sometimes we worship in the chapel in traditional in-the-pews style.  Some weeks we gather in a circle in subdued lighting and lots of candles for a more meditative setting.  Every third week we begin in the student lounge upstairs to view a video and discuss our reactions to it before going into the chapel for the communion.

The Communion is a simplified re-enactment of the Last Supper.  The Last Supper was a Passover seder during which Jesus took the unleavened matza bread and said, "This is my body, given for you.  Do this in memory of me."  And so we do!  The Passover seder usually has four ritual cups of wine, and at the third or fourth cup at the Last Supper Jesus took the cup and said, "This is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins.  Drink this, all of you.  Whenever you drink it, do this in memory of me."  And so we do!

 

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