Eucharist is the primary form of worship in the Episcopal Church. It is also commonly known as Holy Communion or The Lord’s Supper, and at St Luke’s we have Eucharist every Sunday. The service has four distinct elements; Gathering, Listening and responding to the Word of God, Sharing the Meal of Christ, and the Sending. This is the pattern of worship of the ancient Christian Church, reflecting the pattern found in Jesus’ feeding of the thousands and in the Last Supper as recorded in the Gospels.
Jesus said to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds. In other words, with our whole selves. Traditionally then, Episcopal worship has sought to engage the whole body and all five senses in the act of worship. You will find that in Episcopal worship, there is a lot of movement: standing, sitting, kneeling and coming forward to receive communion. Though many people find these patterns of worship comforting, no one is required to participate in such a way as to make them uncomfortable. The Episcopal Church welcomes all baptized persons, of any age and from any Christian tradition at communion.
St Luke’s Sunday Worship
Our Sunday service is at 9:00 am. Ours is a liturgical service, which draws on the traditions and worship format of the ancient Christian church. Our service is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, the Episcopal church’s guide to worship. This service includes music and congregational singing primarily drawing on the traditional hymnody of the Episcopal and Lutheran Church. Our worship style is reverent and relaxed.
We are located right on West Genesee St, just about a quarter mile west of the West Genesee high school. We have an entrance from West Genesee St as well as an entrance from Richlee St. There is ample parking in our parking lot and handicap spots near the Richlee St entrance.
Finding a Seat
St Luke’s doesn’t have traditional pews, but uses individual chairs. There are also rocking chairs and a kid’s quiet play area in the sanctuary space for those who might be more comfortable there. Please come in and take a seat anywhere you look; there are no reserved seats. Sitting up front gives you the best view of what’s happening.
Children are very welcome at our services, and baptized children of any age are invited to take communion with their parents. We know children come in all degrees of squirminess; don’t worry about that; God made them that way and they are welcome here.
Older youth (12-18) are invited to participate in Second Sunday which meets monthly from 5-7pm every second Sunday of the month from September through June. Tweens and teens are encouraged to take part in the worship service as Acolytes, Lectors or Eucharistic Ministers.
There aren’t regular adult education programs each Sunday, but there is a regular Bible Study on Mondays at 6pm as well as programs during the seasons of Advent and Lent (several weeks prior to Christmas and Easter).
Check out our Formation page for more info on learning opportunities
Following Along with the Service
Each service follows a pattern of worship we call “the Liturgy.” If you are familiar with Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Lutheran worship – worship at St Luke’s will feel familiar. The BCP and worship bulletins are easy to follow and give directions for congregational responses. If you’re concerned about not knowing when to sit or stand, don’t worry; when in doubt just follow your neighbors. What matters most is that you’re here – you can’t do worship “wrong.”
The sermons will focus on the Scripture Readings for the day. We usually include four Scripture readings;
- Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament- the stories of God’s people, Israel)
- Psalm (one of 150 ancient poems expressing the human experience of God)
- Epistle (one of a series of letters written by Jesus’ disciples to early Christian churches)
- The Gospels (stories about Jesus’ life)
The Peace is a time to pass the “peace of the Lord” along to your neighbors by greeting them with a handshake or hug.
The Collection Plate
Due to Covid we no longer “pass the plate.” However we do have a collection plate at the back of the church for those who desire to give financially. Most members take advantage of our online giving. Financial support of the church is a spiritual discipline and a sign of commitment to living out your faith in this particular community. We understand that, as a visitor, you might feel unready to give; that’s OK.
All baptized persons, of any age, are welcome and encouraged to receive Holy Communion. There are two elements to communion, the bread and the wine. At St Luke’s we use individual wafers for the bread. Wine may be consumed from either the common cup (chalice) or from individual small glass cups provided. It is perfectly ok to forgo the wine at communion time if that is your wish. To receive communion, stand or kneel at the altar rail, place your right hand in your left and hold them in front of you to receive the bread. To receive the wine from the chalice, please grasp the bottom of the chalice to guide it and take a small drink. To receive using the individual cups, pick one up on your way to the altar and when the server comes, please hold up the cup in front of you.
All persons are invited forward to receive a blessing in lieu of communion. Please cross your arms across your chest to indicate your desire to receive a blessing from the priest.
Fellowship after the Service
Following the service join us for refreshments after the service. It’s a great opportunity to connect with community members and our priest.
What to Wear
There is no dress code for church