What is Anglican?
Anglicans are the third largest group of Christians in the world. The two most essential pillars of Anglican faith are: the authority of Scripture, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ — that Jesus is both fully human and fully God, and that salvation is available only through Him.
The style of Anglican worship is called “liturgical” which means “the work of the people”. So in Anglican services, those who come to worship are not just spectators but participants in the service through active worship, praise, prayer and in receiving Holy Communion. Each worship service uses the Book of Common Prayer, which is "the Bible organized for worship".
St. James Church is part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the Diocese of Western Anglicans. We're part of a faith that is time-honored, biblical and Christ centered. We're a friendly church that preaches and stands for the one true Gospel.
What is Liturgy?
Liturgy has been defined as "the work of the people". This means people are involved in the worship service & not just spectators.
Another way to explain liturgy is that it is the Bible organized, quoted and paraphrased for worship! All churches develop some sort of liturgy for their services, but what Anglicans seek is the distillation of the best of Christian worship practices down through the ages.
Anglican liturgy is how the early Christian Church worshiped. The earliest simple liturgy can be traced back to the day of Jesus' disciples, the apostles and the unbroken chain of their followers. The richness, depth and authenticity of their early worship are what we seek to emulate today in our rich liturgy.
Liturgy seeks to ensure that the act of worship is never passive or something to be taken for granted. Christian worship should not be administered by the few and observed by the many. There are no spectators in Anglican liturgy; all are invited to be active participants in worship.
The Last Supper:
The liturgy used at the time of Holy Communion takes the worshiper back to the words of Jesus as He ate with His disciples and gave us the Last Supper. Jesus also tells us to "do this often" and we do. Holy Communion is offered in most of our primary worship services.
The Good News:
The Gospel is called the Good News. It is Good News indeed as it tells the story of Jesus Christ, God's Son, who became human like us to save us from our selfish nature. This Good News is woven through our liturgy bringing the message that Jesus became the means of our salvation by dying on the cross for our sins.
Like a River:
Liturgy can seem rote or rigid. However, when a liturgical service is conducted well, the liturgy can transport the worshiper along a gentle river, floating them through varying landscapes that quench the dry and heal the hurt. The beauty of familiar words is that they meet all aspects of the human condition.
For the Newcomer:
Those who are not familiar with the liturgy or who are not ready for active participation are welcome to say nothing and to join in when they are more comfortable.
These are some of the reasons so many people feel blessed to be in a liturgical church. Our congregation is a member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a part of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. As such, we worship the Lord in a way which ensure the worshiper is engaged in the Gospel drama which moves from music, to God's Word, to prayers, to forgiveness of sins, to Holy Communion. In this, there is great blessing!