What to Expect When You Visit St. John's Episcopal Church

All Are Welcome! 

People of all faiths are invited and welcomed to worship with us. Hereís a brief introduction to the Episcopal Church and, more specifically, to St. Johnís.  We offer this information to help you feel more comfortable if itís your first visit to our church.

To found out when our next service will be please visit our Calendar section or call the church.  

We are located at the corner of Oak and Hill Street, not far from the Post Office in Globe, Arizona.  To see a map or to get directions to our church, click here.

Coming and Going 

When ushers are present they will greet you and help direct you during the distribution of communion.  If you desire, they will answer your questions about the service.  Pews at St. Johnís are not reserved, you may sit where you wish. 

Following the service the pastor greets the people as they leave. 

You Will Not Be Embarrassed 

When you visit St. Johnís, you will be our respected and welcomed guest.  Visitors are not singled out in an embarrassing way, not asked to stand before the congregation or to come forward.  You will worship God with us. 

Should you wish to know more about the Episcopal Church or how one becomes an Episcopalian, the pastor will gladly answer your questions and suggest the way to membership. 

Before Services, and After  

It is the custom upon entering church to kneel in oneís pew for a prayer of personal preparation for worship.  In many churches it is also the custom to bow to the altar on entering and leaving the church as an act of reverence for Christ. 

Episcopalians do not talk in church before service but use this time for personal meditation and devotions.  At the end of the service some kneel for a private prayer before leaving.  Others sit to listen to the organ postlude. 

Our Church 

St. Johnís is built in a Gothic architectural style, you will find an atmosphere of worship and reverence with the many visual reminders of our purpose for gathering in this place.  At the very front and center of the sanctuary sits the altar with the cross suspended above.  This enables our thoughts to be taken at once to Christ and to God, whose house the church is. 

On and near the altar are candles to remind us that Christ is the ďLight of the worldĒ (John 8:12).  There are often flowers to beautify Godís house and to recall the resurrection of Jesus.

Face the front of the church, on the left side, and youíll see a stand called a lectern from where the Scriptures are read.  On the right side of the church is the pulpit where the sermon is preached. 

The Act of Worship 

Services at St. Johnís are congregational. Available in all pews are copies of the Book of Common Prayer, together the congregation may share fully in every service.  Large print that youíll read is the actual service, which smaller print (rubrics) instruct ministers and vestry about the pace and conduct of the service.  

You may wonder when to stand or kneel.  Practices vary Ė even among individual Episcopalians. 

Our general rule is to stand when we sing hymns (found in the Hymnal in the pews) and other songs (many of them from the Holy Bible) called canticles or chants and printed as part of the service.  We stand, too, to say our affirmation of faith, the Creed; and for the reading of the Gospel in the Holy Eucharist.  Psalms are sung or said while sitting or standing.  We sit during the readings from the Old Testament or New Testament Letters, the sermon, and the choir anthems.  We stand or kneel for prayer to show our gratefulness to God for accepting us as children or as an act of humility before God. 

The Regular Services 

Our principal service is the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion).  In the early Sunday morning service, there is no music.  Music fills the sanctuary in the later service.  To find out when our next service will be, please check our Calendar.

Another service is Morning Prayer.  The parallel evening service is Evening Prayer.  These services consist of psalms, Bible readings, and prayers; and may include a sermon, occasionally with music. 

Some parts of the services are always the same, others change.  At the Holy Eucharist, for example, two or three Bible selections are ready.  These change each Sunday, as do the psalms.  Prayers also change in order to provide variety.  Page numbers for parts of the service printed elsewhere in the Book are usually announced or given in the service leaflet.  Please donít be embarrassed to ask you neighbor for the page number! 

You will find the services of the Episcopal Church beautiful in their ordered dignity, God-centered, and yet mindful of the nature and needs of human beings. 

Vestments 

To add to the beauty and festivity of the services, and to signify their special ministries, the clergy and other ministers wear vestments.  Our choir wears white robes with collars that change colors according to the church seasons..     

A familiar vestment is the alb, a white tunic with sleeves that covers the body from neck to ankles.  Over it ordained ministers wear a stole, a narrow band of colored fabric.  Deacons wear the stole over one shoulder, priests and bishops over both shoulders. 

At the Holy Eucharist a Bishop or priest frequently wears a chasuble (a circular garment that envelopes the body) over the alb and stoles.  The deaconís corresponding vestment has sleeves and is called a dalmatic.  Bishops sometimes wear a special head covering called a mitre. 

Stoles, chasubles, and dalmatics, as well as altar coverings, are usually made of rich fabrics. Their color changes with the seasons and holy days of the Church Year.  The most frequently used colors are white, red, violet and green. 

The Church Year 

The Episcopal Church observes the traditional Christian calendar.  The season of Advent, during which we prepare for Christmas, begins on the Sunday closest to November 30.  Christmas lasts twelve days, after which we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany (January 6). 

Lent, the forty days of preparation for Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday.  Easter season lasts fifty days, concluding on the feast of Pentecost. 

You can read more about each season by visiting the Church Seasons section of this website.

During these times the Bible readings are chosen for their appropriateness to the season.  During the rest of the year - the season after Epiphany and the long season after Pentecost (except for a few special Sundays) - the New Testament is read sequentially from Sunday to Sunday.  The Old Testament lesson corresponds in theme with one of the New Testament readings.

 

 


St. John's Episcopal Church
185 E. Oak Street
Globe, AZ 85501
(928) 425-5160