Worship

Worship - Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

preceded by Morning Prayer, a brief service of Bible readings and prayer, at 8:30 am
  
+     +     +

 
  • Is our worship 'cutting-edge'? Well, we got some new microphones.
  • Is it an awesome 'worship experience'? It's certainly an experience. However, it's not about what you or I get out of it, but about the fact that we are offering ourselves to God, whether we get pumped in the process or not.
  • Is it 'dynamic worship'? Yes indeed, because the Holy Spirit empowers God's people to worship him, whether a particular individual "feels" his presence or not, but simply because Jesus promised he would join us. And because Jesus comes in power to miraculously feed his people
The ancient worship of the Church transcends time and space, including our current tastes and cultural trends. Inspired by what the prophets and apostles saw, it's meant to bring us into the presence of our awesome God, and in fact, it is the moment when the veil between time and eternity is drawn back and God comes to us, not just in "a spiritual way," by which most people mean ethereal, amorphous, vague, nebulous, but in very real ways to forgive, heal and feed his people in a way that C.S. Lewis says is more real than our five senses can grasp. This is not a place where individualism, personal experience or consumerist thinking have any sort of priority. "This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:17). This is the place where "the Lord visits and redeems his people" (Luke 1:68).
 
From the very beginning, the Church's central act of worship has been the Holy Eucharist- a.k.a. the Mass, Lord's Supper, Divine Liturgy, Holy Communion- when Christians gather to "proclaim the Lord's death" (1 Corinthians 11:26), to celebrate his resurrection, and to be filled with his risen life from his own substance.  That's what happens at St Michael's every Sunday morning (and at other special times).

Our form of worship- liturgy- is how the Western Church has been doing it for at least 1,700 years. We don't expect newbies to understand it or to join in the first time they encounter it. In fact, it's probably better not to join in right away. So if this ancient form of worship is new to you, then by all means just sit still, watch, listen. You'll still be a part of it, along with all the angels and saints around the throne of God in heaven. And y
ou'll pick it up soon enough.

We begin with the proclamation of God's Word from both the Old and New Testaments, culminating in the reading of the gospel, the very words and acts of Jesus himself:


Then we move to the consecration of bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Jesus:

How God makes this wondrous change, we can't say for sure. We tend to go with Queen Elizabeth I (16th century), who was no theological slouch. She said,

'Twas God the Word that spake it;
He took the Bread and brake it;
And what the Word did make it,
That I believe and take it.

What we can say for sure, because of what Jesus said, is that in Holy Communion we receive him in Person into ourselves.

So in the Church's central act of worship, Jesus ministers to us, first from his written Word, and then from his own substance. As St Paul says, 
This is a profound mystery!
 
It's a pretty big deal! It's the worship of the God who made everything, yet who loves each one of us more than we can possibly imagine, and who comes to us himself. What an awesome thought! What an awesome reality!

Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence!
Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!
Psalm 96:6