What to Expect

What to Expect at Prince of Peace

Our Anglican Style of Worship

If you weren’t raised in a liturgical tradition, your first visit to an Anglican service might be confusing. Why do we stand? Why do we kneel? What are all these signs we’re making with our hands? Why are people wearing robes? What do the colors symbolize? What’s coming next?


Here are answers to basic questions about our worship tradition:

How long is a typical service?

Saturday evening and Sunday at 8am last about an hour. Sunday at 10:30am is about an hour and a half.
There is an Adult Bible Study on Sunday morning from 9:15-10:15am.

How do people dress at Prince of Peace?

People come to Prince of Peace in an array of attire, some in jeans and flip-flops, some in suits and dresses, and some in-between.

What does it mean to be an Anglican Church?

As an Anglican Church, we are connected to the “Anglican Com-munion” worldwide, the third largest Christian community in the world (after Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) with 80 million members worldwide in 165 countries.

Why do some people make the sign of the cross?

Anglicans make “the Sign of the Cross” from time to time during the service. This is an ancient Christian and Middle Eastern gesture done by touching the forehead, heart, left shoulder and right shoulder. When we explain the gesture to children, we tell them that we’re asking God to be “in our heads” when we touch foreheads, “in our hearts” when we touch our hearts, and “in all of me” when we touch our shoulders. Paul writes, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). The Sign of the Cross is a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and of the power God demonstrated in Jesus’ sacrifice.


Why do the worship leaders sometimes wear robes?

The special garments (called “vestments”) worn by ministers have evolved since the earliest days of the Church. The vestments of the Christians developed from the dress of the Greek and Roman world. The alb (which means “white”) is a white robe. It reminds the worship leader and the congregation of the cleansing from sin in baptism, when we are clothed in white to signify our freedom from sin, purity of new life, and Christian dignity. The stole is a long narrow colored cloth that is worn around the neck like a scarf. Deacons wear the stole over one shoulder and priests wear the stole over both shoulders. The stole, like a towel, is a reminder that the clergy are servants of Christ and the Church.


What do the colors mean?

There are symbolic colors for each season of the church.

Advent: Purple (royalty, to welcome the coming King)

Christmas: White/Gold (holiness and majesty)

Epiphany: Green (growth and renewal – promise of new life)

Lent: Purple (symbolizing pain and suffering)

Easter: White/Gold (holiness and majesty)

Pentecost Sunday: Red – symbol of fire & the Holy Spirit

Season after Pentecost: Green (growth & renewal and new life)

What is the Order of the Worship Service?

Overall Order: The whole service is divided into two sections called “The Word” and “Holy Communion”. In each section we APPROACH, then HEAR, then RESPOND.



Music: We begin our service with worship through song and sing a variety of hymns and modern music. We stand to sing and sit to listen, but you may sit to sing if you need to sit.


Age-Appropriate Teaching: After the songs, children (Pre-K to 4th) to attend “Primary Praise” (Church School) downstairs during the middle part of the service. The adults will stay upstairs.


Scripture Readings: We read weekly from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the New Testament and the Gospels. After we hear “The Word of the Lord”, we respond “Thanks be to God.” This serves as a reminder of the sacredness of Holy Scripture.


Gospel Reading: Before the Gospel reading, the Bible is carried to the middle of the congregation. We stand because the words of Jesus are very important. The Minister says, “The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to (whichever Gospel is being read).” Some Anglicans choose to make the sign of the cross on their foreheads, on their lips, and over their hearts. This signifies that we hope God will be on our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts. We all stand for the Gospel reading, and the reader comes into the midst of the congregation as a visual reminder that Christ, the Living Word, became a man and dwelt among us.


Who chooses what we read? The readings for worship are deter-mined by our “Lectionary”, which is a 3-year ordered list of Bible readings and can be found in the Prayer Book or online at the ACNA website. Over the course of three years, virtually every key passage in the Holy Bible is read in Anglican worship.


Sermon: A sermon is preached by one of our pastors, commenting on the Scripture readings, helping to connect the truth of God’s Word with our daily lives and needs.


Creed: We summarize our faith in the Nicene Creed, an ancient “statement of faith” used by hundreds of millions of Christians around the world each week. Early Christians labored prayerfully to clearly state the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints” and we joyfully join with them to declare what we believe.


Prayers of the People: Corporate prayer is an essential part of the worship and work of God’s people. We pray for specific needs, asking God’s powerful and merciful help for the Church, the world, and for one another. At Prince of Peace, we use a variety of forms for prayer, taken from different Anglican sources.


Confession: During the Confession, we may kneel (if able) to signify our sorrow for our sins and as a sign of respect before God.  The Priest says the Absolution, reminding us of God’s forgiveness, and then gives “comfortable words” – God’s promises from the Bible for those forgiven.


Passing of the Peace: Having heard the Word of God proclaimed, having stated our basic beliefs, and having confessed our sins to God, we are at peace with God and each other. The Passing of the Peace (usually a handshake or hug with those in the pews around us) takes its origin from the “Kiss of Peace” so often mentioned by the Apostle Paul (Romans 16:16). It’s a declaration of the reality that through Christ we are forgiven, and peace is fully restored with God. The barriers are down, and we are genuinely reconciled to God and one another.


Announcements: Following the Passing of the Peace, children return to the service for Holy Communion. During this time, we briefly talk about events going on in the life of the church.


Offering: Giving is a concrete act of worship, an expression of gratitude to God for all He’s given to us. We worship God by spreading the Gospel, building up the church, and serving the needy. “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16)

(Guests are not expected to give.)



Holy Communion: Communion is also called “The Holy Eucharist”. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “giving thanks.” For Anglicans, the Holy Eucharist is a “sacrament”: an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace. Along with Holy Baptism, the Holy Eucharist is one of the two great sacraments given by Jesus to his Church. Anglicans believe that in the Eucharist, Jesus is truly present with us in a hidden way. The meal of bread and wine truly is a meal with the Lord, and it’s one of our greatest privileges to be invited to eat with our Creator, Redeemer, and the Sustainer of the universe.


How to Receive Communion: All baptized believers of any age are invited to take communion. Please see the brochure in the pew for more details about the bread and wine, and how to receive.


Blessing & Dismissal: The priest gives a final prayer of blessing, then after a final song, there is a dismissal. This ends the service. After our service, everyone is invited to the Church Café for a time of hospitality. Many people will visit for 30 minutes or more following the service. This is a great way to get to know others in the church.                                                                                         9/23