Welcome to Worship at St. Clement's Church.
Sunday morning Worship Times
9 a.m. - Choir Practice - New members always welcome
10.30 a.m. - Mass
10.30 a.m. - Godly Play and Nursery
After Mass - Coffee Hour, aka, the 8th Sacrament
15 minutes after Mass - Scripture and Faith Study in Absalom Jones House
Join us each Sunday as we celebrate the Presence of Christ in our midst. Come as you are knowing that you are welcome within this household of Christians in any ways comfortable to you. Also know that you are in a safe place where your being a child of God is honored and celebrated.
As an Anglo-Catholic Parish, St. Clement's Church worships in a particular manner within the Episcopal/Anglican Tradition. Below is a guide to our worship explaining what we do in worship and why. Why is the priest wearing that silly outfit? Read on and find out!
For a full explanation: A Guide to Our Liturgy
The short version:
The Mass, Eucharist, Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper
The Mass, also known as the Eucharist, the Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is celebrated each Sunday morning at 10:30 am. The Liturgy, from the Book of Common Prayer 1979, follows the typical pattern of the Western Churches. Hymns are sung, Scripture is read, prayers are offered, sins are forgiven, and the Eucharist is celebrated.
Children are welcome to be active participants in the liturgy at St. Clement! We also have two nursery attendants available who offer Godly Play for children ages 3-11 in the Undercroft of the church; children join the adults in the Eucharist at the time of the Offertory.
What we believe about the eucharist
Some are curious about what we believe about the Eucharist. Anglicans are somewhat vague on the issue because explaining a mystery isn't easy. Anglicans in general believe in the Doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist: that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of the Risen Christ. As in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, how that happens is not defined. Is it physical? Is it metaphoric? Is it merely symbolic? We don't know and in every reverent sense we don't care. All we know is that through it, Christ offers himself to us and that through receiving the Holy Eucharist our souls and bodies are fed with the very Being of Christ himself.
As an Anglo-Catholic parish, we pay great reverence to the Blessed Sacrament as if it were the person of Our Lord himself. However, our Lord is present in the Sacrament, it's the closest physical presence of him we can know this side of the grave. At the same time, if bread crumbs are inadvertently dropped or wine spilled, we also know that God is not offended by such things. In fact, God probably has a bit of a chuckle about it remembering that we are only human.
Incense is offered as a symbol of our prayers rising to heaven. (Though, in the Early Church it was used to cover the smell. Think of 1,000 people whose diets were heavy on garlic and onions and who hadn't had a bath since the previous Easter in an enclosed space!)
At the time of the administration of Holy Communion, ALL are welcome to receive regardless of religious affiliation, if any. You may notice that we celebrate the Eucharist with "real" leavened bread. Not only does the wafer not resemble the Body of Christ, it really doesn't resemble bread! For those with wheat issues, gluten free wafers are available.
Dress Code: wear some. Some come to Church in their Sunday best. Others come in more casual attire. Some come in a tee shirt and jeans. All are welcome.
You will notice that the ministers of the Liturgy wear special clothing. These "vestments" don't signify that the wearers are any better than the rest of the congregation. They serve more as uniforms for people filling a particular function within the community. And, incidentally, the long, white vestment worn by the Choir and the Clergy under their other vestments is symbolic of the garment given to the newly baptized. So, in essence, it is the "vestment" of the entire laity which one theoretically could wear to Church every Sunday if so desired. If you are interested in learning more about the liturgical colors used on Sundays, please click here.