Liturgical worship

Worship at St.Marks is “liturgical” – which means services include recognizable elements most congregants are familiar with.

If you’re a newcomer this can seem confusing, but don’t worry.  Everything you need to know is in the church bulletin handed to you with a smile when you arrive.

And you don’t have to say the responses or sing the hymns or stand for the prayers if you don’t want to.  We’ll just be happy you’re joining us!

How to respond, “share the peace” and more

Here’s a quick rundown on some ways the congregation participates in worship:

  • Greeting – the formal greeting in our church is “the Lord be with you.”  The response is “and also with you.”  .
  • Call to Worship – used some Sundays this is printed in your bulletin, and read responsively.
  • Alleluia – after the weekly readings, the congregation stands to sing Alleluia (except during Lent, when we forsake the joyful Alleluia).  You’ll find the page number for the music in your red worship book or printed in the weekly worship guide.
  • Sharing the Peace – after the sermon, the pastor invites the congregation to “Share the Peace of Christ.”  You do this by shaking hands with those around you.  You can say “peace be with you” or something similar.
  • Creed – at some services the congregation as recognition of our fore-mothers and fathers in the faith speaks either the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed.  On other Sundays we might use a more contemporary affirmation of faith.   They are printed in the worship book or bulletin for easy access.
  • Prayers of Intercession – these are prayers offered on behalf of other people.  There are a number of responses, including “Thy mercy is great” and “Hear our prayer.”  The response for the day will be listed in the bulletin.
  • The Lord’s Prayer – we use two traditional versions of this prayer, one traditional and the other updated.  The bulletin will denote which we are using by printing the first line as either “Our Father who art in heaven,” or “Our Father in heaven.”  We also sometimes use a contemporary paraphrase or translation, on these Sundays it will be printed in the worship bulletin in its entirety.
  • Dismissal:  the formal dismissal is “go in peace to love and serve the Lord,” the response to which is “thanks be to God.”

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