The Episcopal Church strives to live by the message of Christ, in which there are no outcasts and all are welcome. Many view our faith as one which walks a middle ground between Roman Catholicism and Protestant Traditions. We are a sacramental and a worship-oriented church.
The Sunday worship service is the Holy Eucharist, also known as the Lord's Supper, Holy Communion, or Mass. At Christ Church, worship is accompanied by the singing of hymns. Our worship is based in the Book of Common Prayer, and is "liturgical", meaning that the congregation follows a format and prays from texts. Our service begins at 10:00AM. On Tuesdays, at 9:30AM, we have a Service of Healing and Holy Eucharist in our Chapel.
When You Visit:
At Christ Episcopal Church in Hornell, you will find us a friendly and welcoming environment. Your level of participation is up to you. Within our church, we have many activities and opportunities for involvement, but those who prefer a setting for simple quiet worship and reflection will feel right at home, as well.
Sunday school:During the Sunday morning services, young people are invited to participate in a Sunday School program that is conducted upstairs. This is liturgical based program that is fun and enjoyable for the children and coincides with the scriptural message and adult teaching that week. It is conducted all year long with two months off in the summer (July and August). During the service, the children will rejoin the main congregation for the celebration of the Eucharist. There also is adult Christian education in the Chapel at 9:30am. The theme is usually that dealing with the Lessons for the week in our Lectionary (Old and New Testament/Gospel). Any and all are invited to come and see and increase our knowledge of our God and His Christ and our ministry for Our Lord here and elsewhere
The Holy Eucharist always consists of these elements:
The Liturgy of the Word:
We begin by praising God through song and prayer, and then listen to as many as four readings from the Bible: We usually have one reading from the Old Testament. We then sing or recite a Psalm, and have a reading from the Epistles. This portion of the service always concludes with a reading from the Gospels. > Next a sermon is preached, usually interpreting the readings and lessons appointed for that day. The congregation will then recite the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was written in the fourth century and is the Church's statement of what we believe. Then the congregation prays together - for the Church, the World, and those in need. We pray for the sick, thank God for all the good things of our lives, and finally we pray for those who have died. The petitions are gathered into a communal offering of intercession. In certain seasons of the Church year, the congregation formally confesses their sins before God and one another. This is a corporate statement of what we have done and what we have left undone, followed by a pronouncement of absolution. In pronouncing absolution, the priest assures the congregation that God is always ready to forgive our sins.
The congregation then greets one another with a sign of "peace".
The Liturgy of The Holy Communion:
Next the priest stands at the altar which has been set with a cup of wine and a plate of bread, and greets the congregation again, saying "The Lord be with you". Now begins the Eucharistic Prayer, in which the Priest tells the story of our faith, from the beginning of Creation, through the choosing of Israel to be God's people, through our continual turning away from God, and God's calling us to return. Finally, the Priest tells the story of the coming of Jesus Christ, and about the night before his death, on which he instituted the Eucharistic meal (communion) as a continual remembrance of him.
The bread and wine are blessed, and the congregation recites the Lord's Prayer. Finally, the priest breaks the bread and offers it to the congregation, as the "gifts of God for the People of God". The congregation then comes forward and shares the consecrated bread and wine All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion. In the Episcopal Church, we invite all baptized people to receive, not because we take the Eucharist lightly, but because we take our baptism so seriously.
Visitors who are not baptized Christians are welcome to come forward during the Communion to receive a blessing. At the end of the Eucharist, we pray once more in thanksgiving, traditionally join in singing a hymn and are dismissed to continue the life of service to God and the World.
On most Sundays we will gather after the service for Coffee Hour. Volunteers will take turns as hosts and hostesses during this time of fellowship.