At St. Andrew’s we are focused on worshiping God as individuals, families and as a church. Our worship is liturgical, which means we follow traditional worship patterns. Spiritual life is a constant battle between our sin nature and the Holy Spirit within us, and by giving a pattern to our worship across the year, week, and even day we strengthen our resolve as Christians.
The most obvious way St. Andrew’s worships the Lord is at our weekly Sunday service (more info about that here). The service follows the outline of a fairly standard Anglican liturgy: a processional, worship songs, a time for private and corporate confession, a priestly reminder of God’s forgiveness, readings from Scripture, a sermon, Eucharist, and the recessional.
We believe the form or structure of worship has a real impact on our lives as Christians and guides the rhythms and cycles of our spiritual life. For example, we have a time for private confession and then corporate confession of sins early in the service to “clear the decks.” Confession is then followed by the Priest reminding us of the good news of God’s forgiveness. This serves as a weekly reminder of the real spiritual truth that God has indeed forgiven us of our sins.
Our worship service are “mid-church.” High church would mean complete vestments, incense, kneeling, and every other imaginable prop or tradition. Low church would be ripped jeans and a drum kit by the altar. We are somewhere between the two. Our music is led by 2 guitars and is a mix of hymns and contemporary worship music. Our Rector (the Anglican term for Priest or Pastor) wears robes and a stole. Kneeling during prayer is completely optional.
We do communion 3 weeks a month, and on the last Sunday of each month we have a Morning Prayer service. Historically, Morning Prayer was the standard Sunday service of the Anglican Church. During this time, even local travel was difficult and time consuming, so Sunday also became the de facto market day and the day you would fellowship with other Christians. We imitate this historical practice by doing potluck after the service on Morning Prayer Sundays. These services are more casual: we do not do Eucharist, the Rector forgoes his robes, and the liturgy is slightly different.
Just like the Sunday service serves as the spiritual focal point of our week, the liturgical calendar draws our attention to important events in redemptive history like Easter, Christmas, and Epiphany. Our weekly liturgy changes slightly for each season. For instance, during Lent we encourage our members to practice a spiritual discipline like fasting. We believe this practice helps us focus on God and increase our anticipation for Easter, and by analogy our Spiritual need for salvation.
Finally, many members read through the Anglican Book of Common prayer. The prayer book is a list of prayers to be read 2-3 times daily. The prayer book is 90% scripture and provides Christians a spiritual structure for each day.
While Anglicans follow the church calendar, the liturgy, and read through the Book of Common Prayer, we do not believe any of these are necessary for salvation. We believe this teaches Christians how to pray, right belief, and instills in us positive spiritual habits.