Be present, be present, O Jesus, our great High Priest, as you were present with your disciples, and be known to us in the breaking of bread. – BCP 834, adapted from Luke 24:30
All [the disciples] were constantly devoting themselves to prayer – Acts 1:14
“And the four living creatures . . . without ceasing sing, “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” And . . . the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever;” – Revelation 4:8, 10
“The duty of all Christians is . . . to come together week by week for corporate worship . . .” BCP 856
Worship is, above all else, the purpose of the church. There are a lot of things we are commanded to do (see this past Sunday's sermon, for instance); but the main purpose for gathering as a body and community of faith is to worship the Lord.
“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” says Psalm 29:2 (BCP). Whether that beauty of holiness is in the splendor of the main Saint John's worship space, whether it is in a grand cathedral, whether it is in a tiny and tight-knit community, whether it is at an outdoor chapel that looks out on lake and mountains, or whether it is a small group of people praying Morning or Evening Prayer, the beauty of holiness can be interpreted in many different ways. Certainly the beauty of holiness is found in the visual aspects of the worship space; but the beauty of holiness can also be found where two or three are gathered together in his name.
And, yes, there are a lot of other things we do as the body of Christ (feed, clothe, shelter, etc.) that many other organizations also do; but what those other organizations don't do is worship. It is our worship that sets the church apart from those other organizations.
I mention all this because today, October 5, is the return of the mid-week worship service in Saint Mary's Chapel at 12:15. The last service of Holy Eucharist held at Saint John's before the pandemic shut everything down was on a Wednesday. The service was always small, but it provided an intimacy that people enjoyed. Because of that small, intimate setting, there was a different feel to the beauty of holiness.
If you participated in that service before COVID struck, I invite and welcome you back. If your life has changed because of COVID in such a way that you are now free in the middle of the week, or if you are new to Saint John's and have time on Wednesdays, I invite you to join us. You are welcome to come and worship with us in the beauty of holiness that this small, intimate setting provides.
Wednesday Holy Eucharist
12:15 in Saint Mary's Chapel
Enter through the Elevator or Antietam Street entrance