What to Expect
St. Augustine’s uses liturgies based on ancient patterns and rituals: a rich fare for mind, body and soul. It is ecumenical yet with a distinctive style all our own.
In our services we experience God’s presence through the bodily senses and all that it means to be human. We delight in God’s beauty through seeing symbols such as cross and candles, flowers, color and, of course, people; tasting bread and wine; hearing scripture, music and silence; and touching one another as we share the peace, receiving anointing with oil, and use our bodies to kneel, stand, sit, bow and process.
Our liturgies are also contemplative, allowing us – in the midst of busy urban life and near-constant connection to cell phones and computers – to appreciate a special time to gather in sacred space for silence and reflection.
Our worship is user-friendly. Whatever your background, our bulletin provides brief commentary, so you can participate at whatever level you are comfortable.
Sermons are relevant to contemporary issues and struggles. Though they engage our minds, a dose of humor or a down-to-earth example helps make ancient texts fresh for today.
We're formal and informal. Some folks dress casually, yet our worship staff wear robes and process into and out of the services. There is a sense of tradition, yet blended with warmth, relevance and openness.
While there is a lot of tradition in our worship services and liturgy, there is also some uniqueness and originality – some moments of informality – that may take some people by surprise.
- Our Nave (the area where worshippers sit) and the Sanctuary (the area within the Altar rails) are often rearranged or decorated to reflect the theme of the day or the liturgical season. Flowers, streamers, and various other items of liturgical symbolism and interest are used to enhance our worship experience.
- Everyone is invited to participate in Holy Communion – either to receive bread and wine or a blessing -- for we consider it God’s table, not ours. That means that no one is left out.
- We enjoy music and we sing a lot – both traditional and more contemporary tunes at the 10:45 am service.
- Those who may be looking for a worship experience with a little less family spontaneity may find that the 8:30 am service better fits the bill. While children are again welcome to attend with their parents/adults, this service generally is a little lower-key, fewer young families in attendance and therefore less likely to include “surprises.”
Each Sunday our Hospitality Team puts out an array of snacks, coffee and tea to be enjoyed after the 8:30 am service and both before and after the 10:45 am service.
Holy Communion – also called Eucharist, a Greek word meaning “celebration” -- is offered every Sunday. All are welcome to come to the table, without exception, including children. Some folks drink from a common cup; others intinct (dip) the piece of bread into a cup of wine. Gluten-free wafers are available. Those who do not wish to partake both bread and wine may receive communion in only one form. If you do not wish to receive communion you may come forward with your arms crossed across your chest to receive a blessing.