Episcopal 101

  The Book of Common Prayer (or BCP for short) is the source of our worship rites and includes our beliefs, rubrics and practices as well. As the name suggests, it is the people’s book, and we are a people of the book.

The Book of Common Prayer (or BCP for short) is the source of our worship rites and includes our beliefs, rubrics and practices as well. As the name suggests, it is the people’s book, and we are a people of the book.

 
 

a people called episcopal..

From the Greek word episkopos which is where the word “bishop” comes from, the Episcopal denomination is a unique one in Christianity. Grounded in a three-pronged belief in Scripture (the Bible’s Old and New Testaments together), Tradition (our iconic worship and Anglican theology) and Reason (our expanding understanding of culture and science), the Episcopal Church is an international subsidiary of the Anglican Church. Our “mother” church is the Church of England. The Episcopal Church is led by our Presiding Bishop, the Most. Rev. Michael B. Curry. Grace Church is member of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, led by Diocesan Bishop the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee.

Our worship is traditional in that it evokes the Catholic heritage that is so important to our identity. We wear vestments, the priest wears a collar, we bless, absolve and sanctify and the Eucharist (Communion) is central to our liturgies each week. Music is important to us as well, coming from a long rich tradition.

But that tradition is paired with a broad consideration for the complexities of our world in terms of politics and social justice and human frailty. We are decidedly progressive in that respect, and as the theologian Karl Barth once said, the priest should preach “with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.”

If you want to learn more, consider joining us for Praxis: Episcopal 101 or talk to Fr. Greg!