What We Do On Sundays
Visiting Holy Spirit may be quite a different experience, especially if you have never visited an Episcopal church before. Even if you have an Episcopal background, you may wonder where Holy Spirit gets its particular traditions. This section is meant to walk you through the Sunday experience and give you a sense of why we do what we do.
What to Wear?
In dress, as in many issues, Holy Spirit is a community of diversity. Many members, especially in the summer, come to services in casual attire, while others choose to wear their “Sunday best”. Wear what is comfortable for you, what helps you (and your children) honor God and come into his presence with thanksgiving.
Entering the Church
When you enter an Episcopal church building, you get the sense that this space is special. The church building has feel and structure all its own. While worship can take place anywhere, setting aside a sacred space helps us to focus on the purpose of our gathering. Symbols surround you. You may hear music as you enter the building or notice candles being lit. All this is to prepare us for worship. We leave business and conversation outside and enter the sacred space in body and in mind.
As the choir and worship leaders enter the church, the congregation sings a hymn. The procession sets the stage by drawing our attention together. As you sing, note carefully the words of the hymn. Much of what we understand and believe about God enters our minds almost unconsciously from the repetition of the words of such hymns.
What’s With the Robes?
Worship leaders in the Episcopal church wear vestments. The particular style of some vestments has its roots in the Church of England. Others recall particular scripture images. White robes symbolize the dress assigned to the redeemed in Revelation. Priests wear a stole, symbolizing the yoke of Christ. At communion the celebrant wears a large garment called a chasuable, recalling the seamless robe scripture records Jesus wearing.