What to Expect at Worship Service
We offer Sunday services at five times, including two services on Wednesday, mid-day and Wednesday night, and Saturday night. Holy Communion (Eucharist) is offered at all of the weekend services. The service times are as follows:
12:00 pm - Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - Holy Eucharist with Prayers for Healing
8:00 pm - X Compline - Summer Schedule - Monthly Services 6/15, 7/13, 8/10, 9/11
|Saturday evenings||5:30 pm - St. Ignatius Chapel (Demere Rd.) - Rite II|
|Sunday mornings||8:00 am – Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - 1928 BCP|
|9:15 am – Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) - This is generally a Rite II service, however Rite I is used on special occasions and Holy Days.|
|10:15 am – Coffee Hour and Sunday School in the Parish House (Frederica Rd.)|
|11:15 am – Christ Church (Frederica Rd.) Rite I. The first Sunday of each month is a Choral Morning Prayer.|
What is a Rite, and how are the services different?
Rite I and Rite II designate the style of the worship service (liturgy). Episcopalians worship according to outlines laid out in our Book of Common Prayer. There have been various revisions of our Prayer Book since the original, which was published in 1549. While we follow an outline, we do have some ability to offer different components based on the season and the day.
Each of our Sunday liturgies is a little bit different. Our 1928 liturgy is the oldest, and in most Episcopal Churches was replaced by Rite I and Rite II in the 1970’s. The 1928 and the Rite I liturgy use “Elizabethan English”, which will sound like what you may have read in the King James Bible. Rite II is the same structure service, but in modern English.
An example of how this looks and sounds in practice:
At most of our services, the priest will say: “The Lord be with you.”
In Rite I the people respond: “And with thy Spirit.”
In Rite II the people respond: “And also with you.”
All of our services are made up of two parts: word and sacrament. The ‘word’ part of the services is made up of prayers, readings from the bible, and the sermon. The ‘sacrament’ refers to the part of the service where we receive holy communion.
About the Sunday services:
8:00 am – This service is our most traditional and most formal service. It is a quiet service without music, with very traditional language and phrasing. There are only two scripture readings instead of the typical four. If you have been to other Episcopal services, chances are they weren’t 1928 BCP (Book of Common Prayer) services, so the format will be slightly different. This service changes very little from week to week apart from the readings and the sermon.
9:15 am – This is our most popular, and therefore most crowded service. We alternate between use of the more traditional Rite I language and the modern Rite II language. Our choir sings at this service, offering music that can range from soulful gospel to sacred hymns that are hundreds of years old. This is one of the services that is popular with families. Coffee Hour and Sunday School follow this service in our parish hall.
11:15 am – This service is our second largest service. It also has music every week, usually with a small ensemble of singers and occasionally with the full choir or visiting musicians. Some Sundays we start the service using Morning Prayer, an ancient form of daily prayer in the morning, before moving into Holy Communion. This service also alternates between Rite I and Rite II language.
About Services at St. Ignatius Chapel
On Saturdays at 5:30 pm we offer communion services in our chapel on the south end of the island. These services are generally relaxed, and offered in a more intimate setting, as the chapel is a smaller space. Saturday is usually comfortably full while Sunday may only have a couple of dozen people. These services are full services, and rarely include music.
What do people wear to Church?
At Christ Church you’re liable to see just about anything! Because this is a beach community it is not uncommon to see people dressed very casually. It is also not uncommon to see men wearing a jacket and tie. Ultimately, we want our worshippers to wear what makes them comfortable and allows them to worship fully.
Will I be lost as I try to follow the service?
All of our services now have bulletins that contain all the things you’ll need to participate fully in worship. If you are at a service that includes hymns, you may need to find the hymns in the hymnals that are in the pews, but they’re listed in the bulletin and at the front of the church.
Where do I park?
Christ Church is blessed with many things, but a large parking lot is not one of them. When Christ Church was built there wasn’t the need for parking like there is today! People would just tie their horses up in the churchyard. Today, when coming to Christ Church, many people park in the graveled area on Frederica Rd. just across from the church. There is parking in front of the parish house, and on the point of land as Frederica Rd. curves around to the right. A word of caution as you cross the street and when you leave after church– be sure to look for traffic. St. Ignatius has a parking lot right next to the chapel.
Where do I go on Sunday morning?
When you are at Christ Church you’ll notice two buildings. The historic church building sits in the midst of the churchyard, with a wide lawn in front of it. There is a long brick sidewalk that leads from the Litch Gate along Frederica Rd. right to the front door of the church. That’s where you’ll want to go for services. The other building, which sits closer to the road is where we gather for Coffee Hour, Sunday School, and where our nursery is located. Water and restrooms are available in both buildings. At St. Ignatius, the door to enter the church is just off the front sidewalk along Demere Rd.
Do I need to bring anything with me to a service?
All you ultimately need is a desire to meet God. If you want to bring a prayer book or a bible, you are welcome to, however, everything you need for the service will be provided for you.
What about my young children?
Kids of all ages are welcome to worship with their parents. We do have a professionally staffed nursery for kids 5 and under, located in the parish house. We expect that kids will make some noise in church, so parents need not be overly worried that everyone is watching them or thinking unkind thoughts about their children if they are not “perfect little angels.” We really do welcome children, and are used to their activity and their chorus. If it ever become necessary, parents are always welcome to step out with a child and come back in when they need to. Kids are kids in church just like anywhere else. If we don’t give them an opportunity to be in church, however, they won’t ever learn the value of the church family and the importance of worship.
It has nothing to do with the sermon, but I could use a cup of coffee...
We offer a coffee hour between the 9:15 and 11:15 am Sunday services. There are snack foods for all ages and usually water, iced tea, or lemonade in addition to the coffee. Coffee hour takes place in the parish hall, which is the building next to the church in the churchyard. As you face the church the Parish Hall is on the right.