Liturgical worship can seem slightly overwhelming to first time visitors. But it's really not hard once you get used to it - and until you do, don't worry! Our parishioners are happy to help you, or you are welcome to listen and watch, and participate when you are ready.
During services we use a combination of prayer book, hymnal, and missal (a sort of prayer book with directions). Although these might seem confusing at first, they will become more natural over time. We also have visitor packets at the church entrance that can provide further direction.
Still confused? Just ask. Our members are very friendly and will be happy to explain “what’s happening.”
If you are not from an Anglican Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal, or “other” Catholic religious tradition, that is, you have not been confirmed by a bishop, we ask that you speak with our rector regarding receiving Holy Communion.
If it is your first visit and you will not be receiving Holy Communion, we welcome you to the altar rail for a blessing. Simply kneel with the others and cross your arms over your chest. The priest will give you a blessing. This is referred to as a “spiritual” communion for those not quite ready or prepared to receive the Holy Eucharist.
Some Churches invite “all” to the altar to receive regardless of one’s spiritual background. At St. Stephen’s, the Holy Communion or “Mass” is our central act of Worship. We take seriously the words of our Lord Jesus and his Apostles regarding the benefits of this sacrament. But as the benefit is truly great, so is the danger “spiritually” if one is not properly prepared.
The clergy at St. Stephen’s are happy to answer your questions regarding reception of Holy Communion. Call, email, or just stop by the office for a chat.