Embracing the Traditional and the Contemporary
St. Paul’s is open for prayer, worship, and Bible study seven days a week. Our doors are open to all people who come in peace.
Each Sunday, Holy Eucharist is celebrated as we use the resources of the Book of Common Prayer (1979), the Hymnal 1982, and an Episcopal collection of American gospel hymns and spirituals called “Lift Every Voice and Sing II.” Our worship honors Anglo-Catholic tradition with an emphasis on contemporary language and movement. In our worship we aim to express—through praying, preaching, singing, and receiving the sacraments—a seamless connection between the Holy Table where we receive the Body and Blood of Christ and the tables in our dining hall where the hungry are fed. In the several seasons of the Church Year, there are special worship opportunities offered on weekdays. Information concerning all worship and special events is always available by calling (757) 247-5086.
Opportunities for Liturgical Service
Liturgy is the work of the people offered to God in thanksgiving. At St. Paul’s Church, there are many opportunities for lay participation in the planning and offering of worship. A Worship Committee assists the Rector in planning liturgy. All members of the gathering community are invited to share in the ministry of reading Holy Scripture, in the leading of the congregation’s prayers. A community of acolytes and lay eucharistic ministers assists the priest in the Eucharist; and lay eucharistic ministers also assist the priest in sharing the Eucharist with members who are homebound. There is an active Table Guild of men and women, youth as well as adult, who help with the preparation of the sanctuary for the celebration of Holy Eucharist. Members of the Flower Guild gather before each worship service to prepare their offerings of flower arrangements. Members of the congregation share in the design and creation of eucharistic linens, altar hangings, and clergy vestments. Members of St. Paul’s have designed and made altar hangings, and clergy vestments for all seasons of the Church Year.
Music is plentiful and varied encompassing a range of cultures and styles from the 15th century to the 20th century and from classical to contemporary gospel. Congregational participation is emphasized. A 19-rank Wicks pipe organ, voiced by the British firm of Henry Willis, is the centerpiece of our instrumental music. A digital piano provides for a wide range of choral and keyboard offerings. Guest musicians offer a stimulating variety of musical offerings: string chamber ensembles, brass ensembles, classical guitar, violin, flute, and trumpet soloists.