Episico-what?

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Episco-what? Many people have questions about the Episcopal Church. Explore these FAQs and, should you have any further questions, stop by and see us or send us an email!

1.    How can I find out more about your church?

Ask someone – our priest, a vestry person, the person sitting next to you.

Check out the websites – ours, the Diocese of East Tennessee (www.dioet.org), the  Episcopal Church (www.episcopalchurch.org).  Google “Episcopal Church”

2.   What do you/we believe?

The Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer is a succinct statement of our beliefs.

3.   When are your service times?

Our Sunday services are:

8:00 AM Rite I Holy Eucharist – spoken

10:30 AM Rite II Holy Eucharist with music and choir

On Tuesday at 5:30 PM we have Holy Eucharist with Healing

On Thursday at 10:00 AM we have Holy Eucharist

4.   How are your nursery facilities?

We have Nursery attendants for Sunday services – from 8:00 to noon and for special events as needed.  Our personnel are certified.   Our Lead Nursery Attendant is a licensed teacher, with certification in special needs children. Nursery toys and materials are cleaned and sterilized between uses.  Pagers are provided to parents.  Our Nursery is located on the lower floor beyond the office and Rector’s office.

5.   What do I do during service (I’m not an Episcopalian and this is strange to me)?

First of all – RELAX – don’t worry about what you’re “supposed” to do.  The weekly bulletin you received at the door shows the order of service – the hymns, the pages in the Book of Common Prayer that are being used this day, the words to the anthems, the readings from the Bible, including the Psalm for the day.  BCP= Book of Common Prayer is the red book in each pew.  It’s where you find the “script” for the service.  Hymns numbers are shown and those with a “S” before the number refer to the “service” music that is found in the front section of the Hymnal (the blue book found in each pew).

Our service proceeds from praise (in our hymns), to prayer, to study of scriptures, to contemplation of those words (in the sermon or homily), to offerings to the Lord (offertory), to preparation for and reception of the holy communion, to blessing and benediction.

Generally, we stand to sing and to listen to the Holy Gospel, we sit to listen to scripture readings, the sermon  and any anthems that are sung by the choir, and we kneel or stand or sit (as we are able) to pray.

6.   Why do you wear robes?

There are several reasons for robing – it “unifies” the servers, showing that all are working together.  the celebrant’s clothing – the chasuble (see terminology page) reflects the color of the day or season and helps to set the tone for the service (purple for  penitence, red for passion, white for celebration, etc.).  Wearing vestments helps us to remember that the service and what is happening are unusual and godly.  It is a special time.

7.   What are all the colors – are they meaningful?  (see terminology – Colors of the Year)

Our church year begins with the season of Advent (blue or purple hangings, chasuble, banners) where we prepare for the coming birth of our Lord Jesus.  Following the month to 6 weeks of Advent we have the wonderful Christmas season (white for celebration of Christ’s birth) with red poinsettias showing the joy and the passion of this event.  The Epiphany celebrates the visit of the 3 Wise men to the infant Jesus.Here the light of Jesus Christ breaks out into the world.  This marks the end of the Christmas season.

We next go into the Epiphany season for about 4-6 weeks, then we begin the season of Lent, marked with the observance of Ash Wednesday and proceeding through the 40 days of Lent (a penitential season with purple vestment and hangings).

Lent ends on Palm Sunday which marks the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem where the people waved palm fronds to cheer him.  Red is worn this day to show the passion that comes within the service and leads into the services of Holy Week.  On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday clergy and choir wear black and the crosses are veiled in black.

Then, on Easter – at the Vigil on Saturday night and on Easter Day, white is worn and hung, with white flowers including Easter lilies all around the church.  This is the high point of the Christian year – Jesus’ Resurrection.

Following Easter are the 40 days until we celebrate His Ascension.  Then we receive the Holy Spirit in Pentecost – another celebration in red.   The post-Pentecost season-sometimes called the “Ordinary” time – is shown with green vestments and hangings.  This is the longest season of the church year and extends to Advent.