St. Mark’s prides itself on its rich and lively liturgy, a harmonious blend of the Lutheran and Anglican traditions, which is fostered by the deep spirituality of clergy and laity. Music, of various styles, is an integral part of our worship.
- 8:00 a.m. Service: We have an 8:00 a.m. Communion service each Sunday, which is essentially the same as the 10:00 a.m. service, but without hymns or music. Volunteers give the readings, the prayers of the people, pass the offering plate, and serve at the table. This is an intimate gathering as we sit in a circle in the Chancel. It is a lovely quiet service that accommodates the early risers of the congregation and anyone coming off the night shift from work. There is an average attendance of 8 to 10 regulars.
- 10:00 a.m. Service: The 10:00 a.m. Sung Communion service is an eclectic service including traditional, formal, informal and contemporary styles. Liturgical forms are a blend of the Evangelical Lutheran Worship and Hymn Book (ELW) and the Anglican Book of Alternative Service (BAS). The Worship Committee and the past Incumbent worked diligently at taking the most important “traditions” of both the Lutheran and Anglican liturgy and combining them into one inclusive service. Average Attendance ranges from 82 to 100, with higher attendance on special religious holidays.
More About the Liturgy
St. Mark’s is a liturgical church. Much of the Anglican and Lutheran liturgies is shared. We have found that using portions of both has worked very well.
During the service, the passing of the Peace is a happy, warm experience.
During communion there are two stations. One is at the main altar and has to be reached by steps. Two people from the sidesperson/usher group on duty that day assist communicants up and down the stairs. Bread (including the option of gluten-free wafers) and a common cup of wine are used at the altar. The second (standing) station is located in front of the pulpit on the main floor of the church near the side altar (no steps involved). Individual glasses are available as well as the common cup (wine), and grape juice is also an option. For those who have severe mobility issues, communion is taken directly to them in the pews.
Many parishioners are actively involved in every service. This could include involvement as: greeters & ushers, crucifers & acolytes, readers, prayers of the people, administering communion, and so on. Our Sunday service is also supported by the Chancel Guild who prepare the church with the flowers donated by parishioners; prepare the church for Holy Communion; care for the eucharistic accoutrements; and clean the linens.
Following the service, in the fall and winter months, there is a pleasant social time in the Church basement, with an opportunity to sit and chat. An elevator has been installed to accommodate those with mobility limitations, so that all may participate fully in our fellowship together. Sidespersons/ushers are trained and ready to assist those needing the elevator.
Blessing of the Animals is held at a yearly service around the day reserved for St. Francis of Assisi (early autumn). This is usually an afternoon service. Along with the usual mix of dogs and cats we have even had the occasional rat and chicken.
Every Christmas we are host to a Christmas Lessons and Carol Service featuring singers and musicians from the church and the community. This event is standing room only.