Types of services
Holy Communion is celebrated very often, but in a number of different ways.
On Sunday mornings hymns are sung. At St Paul's and St Ann's much of the service is sung, too. There are readings from the Old and New Testaments. Father Ingalls or another preacher, will teach through the lessons of the day. Regular Sunday services take place at 9:30 A.M at St. Ann's (Westcock) and Trinity (Dorchester), and 11:00 A.M. at St. Paul's (Sackville).
On Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. there is a simple said celebration of the Holy Communion at St Paul's. This happens all through the year except in July and August.
On Thursday mornings during the Mount Allison term there is a contemporary Eucharist Thursday at 7:45 a.m. This service is very quiet and contemplative. See 'Wine Before Breakfast' below.
On important feasts or fasts ('Red Letter Days') the Holy Communion is often celebrated with special solemnity. See 'Red Letter Days' below.
Evensong is a sung service of Evening Prayer from the prayer book tradition. We sing from the Psalms, and read from the Holy Scriptures. This non-communion service gives opportunity for contemplation and confession. Occasionally this sung service takes place in the parishes.
The Daily Offices are our daily service of prayer to God. 'Office' means 'work' or 'service'. At different times and places they have taken different forms. In our part of the church they have taken the form of daily Morning and Evening Prayer for the past five hundred years or so. They are an essential way of sharing in the life of the church catholic – the universal Christian Church. Along with millions of Christians – past, present and future – we annually live through the life of Christ, and the martyrs, as we daily read and consider their examples. The offices are patterned around communal recitation of the Psalms, and reading from the Holy Scriptures. We pray and intercede for one another. Morning and Evening Prayer are observed daily in the parishes, each service lasting approximately 25 minutes. Click on "This Week" to view this week's schedule.
Compline is a late-evening service of quiet, candlelit chanting. Incense is offered. It is the first service of the new day that begins with the setting of the sun, and marks our entrance into silence and rest.
Wine Before Breakfast is a simple, contemporary Eucharist celebrated at St Paul's in Sackville each Thursday in the Mount Allison University term at 7:45 a.m. followed by a hot breakfast at 8:30 a.m. A brief time of silence or of reflection and discussion replaces a sermon.
Red Letter Days. From time to time the Holy Communion is celebrated to mark one of the great feasts of fasts of the Christian year in a way that recalls our ancient and medieval heritage more fully. Ancient Christian practices like chanting, ringing bells and offering incense draw our whole bodies and all our senses into worship. We may use hymns a thousand years old or more and read from early and medieval Christian writers, recognizing them as friends and companions who accompany us on our own spiritual pilgrimage in our day.
At one time in New Brunswick as in many other places if one did not have the money to pay one's taxes one could work them off by helping with the construction or maintenance of roads or similar public service. The word 'liturgy' comes from a Greek word that describes this kind of public service. Our liturgy is our offering of worship and prayer to God. It is something shared, common, public - something we can only do together as the Body of Christ. In the parishes of Sackville and Dorchester, our liturgy generally follows the Book of Common Prayer. In various editions, this book has been use by many millions of Christians around the world for almost 500 years. Its contents and the spiritual life it offers are much older. Most of it is taken directly from the Holy Scriptures. In fact, it has sometimes been called, 'The Bible ordered for prayer.' The Prayer Book carries to us in our day much of the wisdom of Christians who have gone before us. It is our guide to a life 'rooted and grounded in love' (Ephesians 3:17) - the love of God for us and for the whole human race in Jesus. It connects our prayers with those of the whole Church, in all times and places, wherever God has been worshiped through the orderly reading of Scripture and by participating in the Holy Communion.
The weekly bulletin will help you to follow the service in the Prayer Book.
Scripture and Preaching
Every Sunday, we hear the Word of God preached. Sermons are usually ten to fifteen minutes long. They are based on the readings appointed for each Sunday in the Book of Common Prayer. These readings were chosen centuries ago, and placed in an order designed to help guide us in our life-long journey towards God. This is the goal of all preaching in the parishes: to draw us into the divine life, opened to us through Jesus.
The centrepiece of our life in Christ is the Holy Communion or 'Holy Eucharist'. Established by Christ Himself the night before He died, it was the central act of worship of the whole Church for the first fifteen hundred years and more. The great reformers of five hundred years ago wanted this to continue. The change they sought was for ordinary Christians to receive often and not just two or three times a year. Sunday by Sunday we discover in our own lives as we draw near to the altar in repentance and faith what countless others have discovered through the centuries, namely, that through the Holy Communion we live in Christ and He in us in a way that is both real and mysterious.
In the parishes of Sackville and Dorchester, all three churches worship with organ accompaniment, and occasionally with the help of other instruments. At St Paul's and St Ann's in the Parish of Sackville some of the service itself is sung, as well as the hymns. The Parish of Sackville has a choir that helps lead the singing. From time to time musicians who play a variety of instruments in a variety of different styles are asked to play before and after the service and during Communion.