As I embark on my Vestry term, focusing on Worship, I decided to see how Google defines “worship” and what else might be of interest: 

·         Did you know that the word “worship” is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning to venerate- worship or honor shown to an object, which has been etymologised as "worthiness or worth-ship"—to give, at its simplest, worth to something?

·         In Christianity, worship is the act of attributing reverent honor and homage to God. In the New Testament, various words are used to refer to the term worship. One is proskuneo ("to worship") which means to bow down to God or kings.

·         Christian worship involves praising God in music and speech, readings from scripture, prayers of various sorts, a sermon, and various holy ceremonies (often called sacraments) such as the Eucharist.

·         Worship is an essential part of a Christian's faith. Christians worship God to thank him for his love, ask for forgiveness for their sins and try to understand his 'will' for them.

I also found a wonderful short article authored by Martha Ainsworth, written in 2002 entitled Understanding Worship in The Episcopal Church”.  It was originally written as a guide for visitors to St. John’s in the Village, an Episcopal parish in New York City.  I encourage you all to find and have a read through it.  Whether you are a cradle Episcopalian or new to the Episcopal faith I found it an interesting outline and was reminded about what drew me to our worship style.  I will share just a few sections to whet your appetite for more:

It is a central tenet of our worship that there are no spectators; all are participants. Different people have different roles, but all roles are equally important. The people in the congregation are no less participants in our worship than those with different functions who sit in the front.

We engage our spirits in worship by two means: by worshiping with the mind, as we hear, contemplate and proclaim God’s word; but also, worshiping with the wholeness of our body — and this is the hallmark of anglo-catholic worship. We believe that the human body is a good thing. God declared the human body holy by coming to earth and having one himself. So in our worship, we use our bodies as well as our minds. Instead of just sitting, we move about. We use all our five senses in our worship: seeing color, light and movement; hearing music and silence and the rhythm of words; smelling the unique fragrance of incense; touching by clasping a hand or embracing at the Peace, touching holy water, or in the laying on of hands; tasting bread and the wine.

As you worship, continually offer to God not just an intellectual corner of your mind, but the wholeness of your being: your mind, and your spirit, and your body.

As Episcopalians, we have a musical heritage that is one of the world’s richest and most deeply spiritual. For 1500 years, Anglican church music has sought to tell the Christian faith in authenticity and truth. Our music is not a homogenous product, but an extremely diverse and multi-layered art form that celebrates and encompasses many different traditions. You might be interested, when singing hymns, to read the small print below each one and note the many and varied sources of the poetry and the music.

We are blessed at Advent to have so many participants in a variety of roles: ushers, acolytes, eucharistic ministers, eucharistic visitors, lectors, sub-deacons, altar guild, organist, choir, and our newest worship ministry the hand bell choir.These ministries enrich our weekly communal worship. Speaking from personal experience, supporting worship has deepened my faith. If you are looking for further spiritual engagement our worship ministries will welcome you with open arms and heart.No experience required!

To see the whole article, please click on this link: https://metanoia.org/martha/writing/worship.htm

Shared by Cindy Reindl