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 has two Sunday morning services
- The 8:00 service uses the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), which contains the entirety of the service and is easy to follow. Copies of the BCP are available for all worshipers. This service is spoken word only, without music
- The 10:30 service uses a worship bulletin which includes the whole of the service drawn from the BCP and other authorized sources. This service includes music and congregational singing; primarily, we use traditional hymnody drawn from the hymnal of the Episcopal Church. The bulletin also contains most of the music sung during the service to make it easier to follow along until you get the hang of our style of worship.
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 on each side of 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.
We offer a Sunday School for children 5-11 during the 10:30 service during the school year (Oct-May). They typically meet from 10:15 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at which time all children join their families for communion.
Older youth (12-18) have Youth Group Sunday evenings 7:30-8:30. Tweens and teens are encouraged to take part in the worship service as Acolytes, Lectors or Eucharistic Ministers.
We also offer forums and other educational opportunities for adults regularly, but not every week.
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 10:30 bulletin includes most of the music used in the service except the opening hymn, the hymn during the collection, and the final hymn. These bulletins draw on all the authorized worship materials of the Episcopal Church and are changed throughout the year as the seasons of the Church Year change. The hymns are usually found in the Hymnal, which is a blue book that can be found at each seat.
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.
Passing the Collection Plate
The collection is the time when many people give their financial offerings for the ministry of the church. 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 yet; that’s OK.
All baptized persons, of any age, are welcome and encouraged to receive Holy 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. You may dip the wafer in the wine and consume them together or you may eat the bread and drink from the chalice (cup). Please grasp the bottom of the chalice to guide it and take a small drink.
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