Sunday Morning Worship
What to Expect
Stepping inside the doors of a new church can be a leap of faith on many levels, even for people who've been going to church for a long time. Some of your questions might include:
- Will anyone talk to me? Or will too many people talk to me?
- Will they ask me for money?
- Will it be ok if my kids can't sit still or be quiet the entire service?
- How should I dress?
- Will there be anyone there my own age?
- Does it matter if I'm an Episcopalian?
- Am I welcome if I don't believe?
Whether you've never been to church before, or you’ve been attending church your entire life, we want you to feel comfortable at Epiphany. We want to make sure you leave your worship experience feeling that it's been stress free, engaging, and enjoyable.
Below is an overview of what to expect on Sunday morning:
Choosing Which Service to Attend
Epiphany has two worship services on Sunday morning and another in the evening offering different worship experiences. Each service is centered on the Holy Eucharist (Communion) and use Rite II Episcopal liturgy.
Rite II Holy Eucharist at 8:45 a.m. & 11:15 a.m.
The Rite II liturgy is sung at both the morning services. We honor the traditions of Anglican worship through our music, sung liturgy, and the occasional use of incense (most typically on feast days). The beautiful architecture and colorful stained glass windows of the church combine with the extraordinary voices of the Epiphany Choir and the enveloping chords of our amazing Bedient organ to add depth and texture to the liturgy. Children's Chapel takes place during the 8:45 service (see below).
All visitors are welcome to join us for communion. All visitors are also welcome to any of the literature located in the tract rack near the main doors. Visitors are welcome to light a candle at the prayer stand in the oratory located through the doors at the rear of the church to the right of the organ. (A donation is requested for use of the candles.)
When You Arrive
When you arrive at Epiphany, you will find parking in our gravel lot or the small paved lot on the east end of the church. Parking can sometimes be limited. Therefore, parking is also allowed along the street on East Lake Drive.
The church nave is located on the east side of the campus, to the right of the double red doors in the courtyard. Go to the right upon entering and continue through the glass doors to the narthex (Episcopalian for "lobby") to enter the sanctuary. As you enter, you'll be met by a friendly usher who will hand you a service bulletin and help you find a place to sit in church. Once your are seated, you will find Visitor/Newcomer cards in the rack on the back of each pew. Please fill out one of these cards and put it in the plate during the offertory if you would like more information about joining Epiphany.
The service bulletin will lead the visitor through the liturgy, referencing page numbers for The Book of Common Prayer (the blue book), which is our book of prayers and can be found in the book rack on the backs of the pews. Hymnal references are given as well (the red book).
You'll notice that everyone is dressed comfortably, in anything from "office casual" to flip-flops and shorts. If you arrive early, you'll probably overhear the organist warming up before the service.
What about my kids?
Children are always welcome to worship and encouraged to join their famlies at all our services. A bulletin designed for children is available in the Narthex along with crayons.
Children's Chapel is held during the 8:45 a.m. service on Sundays during the school year. It is a joyful child-focused service with liturgy, music, a story and prayers. We learn to set the table, reverence, cross ourselves and learn the stories and songs of the liturgical year. We then process back to "big church" to join our families during the Peace, and remain for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist Parents are welcome to come to Children's Chapel anytime.
Childcare is available for children 3 years old and younger starting from 8:30 a.m. in our church nursery. Sunday School is available for children ages 3 and up during the Education Hour in between services. We also have classes for youth grades 6th – 12th. Visit the Youth Formation page for class descriptions.
During the Service
Our service follows the order of most Episcopal services, which use the liturgy found within The Book of Common Prayer. You'll notice that throughout many parts of the service, the congregation participates by saying the prayers together: all the words will be in the service bulletin or in The Book of Common Prayer (see service bulletin for page numbers), but it's also ok to stand silently if that feels more comfortable.
Towards the middle of the service, one of the clergy will present a sermon, which usually lasts around 10 - 15 minutes.
What follows is a joyful, sometimes boisterous time of everyone saying hello to one another, with the phrase "Peace be with you!" Folks get out of their seats, shake hands, hug, say hello.
Next, the ushers collect the offering. We want you to feel welcome as our guest, with no pressure to give. Our regular attendees will put their contributions in the offering plates to pay for our expenses and fund our local and global outreach programs. Even though we hope you'll simply be our guest on your first visit, we do hope you'll drop your Visitor/Newcomer card into the plate, so we can send you any information you request. If you want to stay anonymous, that's okay, too.
The Holy Eucharist, or Communion, is the final part of our service. The 8:45 service lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. We hope you enjoyed the service!
After the Service
After the 8:45 service: Please join us in Jones Hall or directly outside (during nice weather) for beverages and refreshments. We hope you'll stay and meet some of us: church is about many things, but at the heart of our worship together at Epiphany is community and friendship, so we really hope our newcomers can get a taste of the warmth and friendliness so many of us have found at Epiphany.
We hope you'll join us!