We know it can be overwhelming to walk into a new church for the first time (or the first time in a long while). You can be assured that at St Mary's you will be met with a warm welcome, from friendly folk who are here to help you feel at home.
What happens at a worship service?
You’ll often see or hear the word ‘liturgy’ when we talk about our services of worship. ‘Liturgy’ comes from a Greek word that literally means ‘a work of the people’. In our context, it refers to the words, music and actions that we use to shape our services of worship.
In our worship services we use forms of worship in the Canadian edition of the Book of Common Prayer, the Book of Alternative Services, and also newer liturgies. Most services include a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), a reading from the New Testament letters to the early Church, and a passage from one of the Gospels (the stories about Jesus in the New Testament). The themes of our worship reflect the seven seasons of the Church Year, some of which will be familiar to you, others perhaps less so: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, plus 'Ordinary Time', which lasts from Pentecost until Advent of the next year.
Before each service, you will receive a leaflet with everything you need in order to participate: the words for the spoken prayers, the Bible passages, the words to the hymns, etc. You will also find other information about upcoming events and news pertaining to our life as a community. At various times in the service, the congregation is invited to stand, sit or kneel—but standing or kneeling is never required, and the leaflet contains helpful (we hope) notes about appropriate actions or movements. Hear’s some more about our services of worship.
The Eucharist—another Greek word, meaning ‘thanksgiving’, and also known as Holy Communion or the The Lord’s Supper—is an celebrated at our Sunday and Wednesday morning services. Participation in the Eucharist is optional and if you wish to participate, you may also choose to accept the bread and not drink from the common cup of wine. During services that take place in our chapel, participants in the Eucharist are invited to kneel or stand at the altar rail to receive communion. If anyone has mobility limitations, they are welcome to tell one of the greeters at the door, and the bread and wine will be brought to them where they are seated.
Our wider family
St Mary’s is a member of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia and part of a worldwide church active in more than 160 countries with almost 70 million members. Learn more about our Anglican ‘family’.
What else, other than worship?
Of course, there is much more going on at St Mary’s than services of worship and many more ways to participate in our church community. Explore the rest of this site, and consider signing up for a periodic e-newsletter. Feel free to contact our minister, Reverend Craig Hiebert, and other helpful staff members and leaders by checking out their profile pages.
We know that each individual is on his or her own spiritual journey. We at St Mary's are no different—you are warmly welcome among us no matter where you find yourself on your own journey. We look forward to learning from you, and with you.