First of All, Welcome to Our Church!
We are very glad to have you with us and we want you to know it. We sincerely hope you will enjoy your visit with us and will want to come again. We especially want you to feel comfortable during the service and we hope this Visitor FAQs will help. If this doesn't answer your questions, please feel free to ask our priest.
Why Don't People Talk in the Pews Before the Service Begins?
What are the Books in the pew racks?
What is a Mass?
How do I use the bulletin?
What if I lose my place?
Why all the "Bowing and Scraping"?
Do I have to do the "Bowing and Scraping"?
Is this Church Catholic?
What is Anglo-Catholic?
May I receive Communion?
Q: Why Don't People Talk in the Pews Before the Service Begins?
A: When Anglicans first enter the church they customarily kneel and pray for themselves, their families, friends, and for other concerns. We pray for the priest who will lead the service. We pray that we will be ready to worship the Lord when the service begins and to hear and take to heart what God has to say to us in it.
After we have finished our own prayers, we keep silent so as not to disturb the prayers and meditations of those around us who are preparing to worship.
Please don't think that we are being unfriendly if we don't speak to you in your pew. Actually we are trying to be considerate and give you time and quiet to pray and prepare yourself for worship.
Be thoughtful, be silent, be reverent:
For this is the House of God.
Before the service speak to God.
During the service let God speak to you.
After the service speak to each other.
Q: What are the Books in the pew racks?
A: There are three books in the pew racks. The thin red one is the 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer (abbreviated "BCP). It is the service book for 'Holy Communion Services on the 1st and 2nd Sundays. Some pew racks contain older, much smaller editions of this book in red or black.
The black volume is the current edition of The Book of Common Prayer and is used at our Communion Services on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays.
The large red volume is the Hymnal 1982 and it is our songbook and contains the hymns we sing. It is divided into two sections. The "s" numbers refer to service music (parts of the service that can be sung) and the other, regular hymns are in the section after that.
A: The term is a kind of nickname for the service of Holy Communion (also known as the Holy Eucharist).
Q: How do I use the bulletin?
A: Our bulletins contain an outline of the service with the page numbers in edition of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) being used [See above] and the hymn numbers in the Hymnal 1982. As an additional aid the hymns to be sung are also posted on a hymn board in the front of the church.
We recommend that before the service you open the Book of Common Prayer to the beginning of the service (usually page 67 of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer on the 1st and 2nd Sunday and page 323 of the current Book of Common Prayer on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays) and open the Hymnal to the first hymn listed in the bulletin so that you'll be ready when the service begins.
Please note the directions to sit, stand and kneel in the bulletin.
Q: What if I lose my place?
A: Don't worry. If you get lost in the service, just "rise and fall with the tide" as we stand, kneel, and sit. Simply take in the service and its message. This is far better than growing frustrated with not keeping up. In a short while a page number or a hymn number will be announced and you will be right back on track.
Q: Why all the "Bowing and Scraping"?
A: God made the rest of our bodies along with our lips and minds. We believe that we should offer our entire selves to Him in worship. The postures of standing, kneeling, and sitting help us express our reverence for God and remind us not to hold anything of ourselves back when we give our lives to Him.
Q: Do I have to do the "Bowing and Scraping"?
A: No. You don't have to do anything that makes you un-comfortable. If you're not accustomed to bowing, or making the sign of the cross, etc., don't feel that you have to (some Anglicans don't). No one will be keeping score. If you're not comfortable kneeling, it's all right to sit during the prayers.
Q: Is this Church Catholic?
A: Yes, but not Roman Catholic. We are another kind of Catholic Christians. Our Church (along with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches) is a branch of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ founded by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection (Acts 2:1-11). We subscribe to the catholic (universal) faith as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and embodied in the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds.
In some ways the Anglican Church is very similar to that of the Roman Catholic Church (e.g. the way we worship), in other ways we are dissimilar (e.g. we do not believe that the Pope is infallible).
We neither adopt nor reject beliefs and practices based on the Roman Church. Instead, our desire is to conform our faith and practice of Christianity with that which Jesus' apostles gave the early Christians. Sometimes that makes us very similar to the Roman Catholic Church, sometimes we are different.
Q: What is Anglo-Catholic?
A: The term literally means "English Catholic". It has come to mean those Episcopalians and other Anglicans whose worship, doctrine, and moral teaching is that of traditional Catholic Christians. St. Andrew's is an Anglo-Catholic parish and part of the generally Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth.
Q: May I receive Communion?
A: If you have been baptized with water in Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Ghost), believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and receive Communion in your own denomination, you are welcome to receive at our Altar as well.