Welcome to the Visitor's Guide to St. Peter's. The purpose of this page is to give you enough information about the Sunday service at St. Peter's so that you will be comfortable in your visit. Of course, with any church, the visitor's only job is to show up at the door. It is up to the members to guide you about and ensure you experience what the parish has to offer. Still, because we come together as Church in the Mass, (praying, proclaiming, responding, etc... together) some resist visiting Anglican services for fear they "won't know what to do." This page is for you. Finally, please call, or even make an appointment with the priest outside of Sunday services, with any questions you have about the parish.
The main Sunday service offered at St. Peter's is known as a Missal Mass. That is, a Mass (Holy Eucharist, Holy Communion or Lord's Supper) done as ordered by an approved missal (service book or liturgical book). This service in substance dates back to the time of the Apostles and in form has been much the same for the last fourteen hundred years. It is, therefore, not a service unique to St. Peter's. Catholics, Orthodox and Lutherans will recognize most of the service as it is from a familiar root. All that is done in the service becomes a rich tapestry of worship, practiced over millennia, in which the people of God join the heavenly host in reaching out to His divine presence.
As you go to the pews you will be offered a bulletin from one of the ushers. The bulletin gives a description of the service for that day. It will also contain much of the scriptures used in that day's service as well as hymns, notices and prayer requests. If you are new to the service, give the bulletin a look and put it aside. The booklet you want (pictured here) is in the pews: The Order for the Celebration of the Holy Mass. Here every "sit" "stand" "kneel" "sing" or "say" is clearly marked and the entire service follows without having to flip about. Many, if not most, life long Anglicans still use these booklets in the Mass as an aid to focusing their hearts and minds.
You Enter the church through the doors on the west. If you come in through the large wooden doors, you will be in the narthax (a foyer area). The next set of interior doors will lead you into the nave (the central part of the church with pews).
If you come in through the metal door under the stone porch, you will be entering the parish hall. Here you will find bathrooms, nursery, coffee, etc...
Either door is fine for entering. But, you will find the church side to be quiet, always offering time for prayer and meditation, while the parish hall side has the joyful din of conversation.
During the service the Mass booklet will point you to the hymn board or the responsive readings of the Psalms. A Hymnal and Book of Common Prayer with Psalms will be found in your pew.
A small child testing his lungs is a joyful noise at anytime during the service. Still, a cry room is offered for mom or dad to take their tykes and still completely participate in the service.
Follow the guidelines offered in the Mass booklet when the time for communion arrives.
Not completely confident about the service? Please give the church a call.