Sunday Mornings 101

A quick overview of what we do on Sunday mornings, and why we do it!

Sunday worship directs our desires and loves toward what truly matters: God. The liturgy re-orients us toward holiness, virtue, and love. It makes us desire blessedness. In this way, our liturgy draws us into a transformative relationship with the One who continually sustains us. It liberates us to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom. 12:2 and Eph. 4:23) so that we may become what God has created us to be—His sons and daughters.

Our Sunday Service has 5 Parts

1. Call to Prayer

A responsive prayer (the Angelus) recalling Jesus’ incarnation, passion, and resurrection
A bell rings and the priest enters the back of the church and begins a responsive prayer called The Angelus (named for the first line of the prayer, “The angel of the Lord announced unto Mary”. We hear of Mary’s obedience to God and ask her to pray for us as we strive to live up to God’s promise for us. Have you ever asked someone to pray for you when you needed help? It’s a good way to start the service.

2.The Entrance Rite

Procession, prayers, Psalms, praise and thanksgiving, and more prayers
Acolytes with incense and a large cross lead the priest into the church toward the altar, as the congregation sings. The procession represents our journey toward the heavenly banquet. We hear special prayers for the day, get a reminder of how Jesus summed up the 10 Commandments (love God, love our neighbors), and sing to request God’s mercy and give thanks. All of this prepares us to hear the Word of God (Bible readings) during the next part of the service.

3. Liturgy of the Word

Scripture readings (Epistle and Gospel), profession of faith (Nicene Creed), and homily
We recount the saving acts of God in the words of Scripture. First we hear part of an Epistle (a book of the New Testament in the form of a letter from an Apostle), then Psalms. Then we sing as the priest and acolytes “bring the Gospel to the people”. Standing in the middle of the congregation, the priest chants the day’s Gospel reading. The congregation then sings a confession of the Faith (the Nicene Creed). The priest then offers a reflection on the proclamation of the Gospel in a sermon or homily.

4. Liturgy of the Altar

Prayers, confession, absolution, communion
The priest offers bread and wine on behalf of the people, and the people offer alms in thanksgiving for God’s blessings in their life and work. We believe that Christ is really and truly present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Therefore we approach this part of the service with extreme reverence. The priest prays for the Church and its people and then invites the congregation to confess their sins in a prayer of general confession. The priest absolves (pronounces forgiveness on) all who confess. Facing the altar, the priest consecrates the bread and wine, recounting the story of the Last Supper, and Jesus’ command to “Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:21, 1 Cor. 11:24-25). All baptized Christians who have been confirmed by a Bishop in apostolic succession are invited to receive Holy Communion. If you haven’t been confirmed, you can receive a blessing from the priest at the altar rail. Proceed to the altar rail and cross your arms over your chest to indicate that you’d like a blessing.

5. The Concluding Rites

Dismissal, blessing, a last Gospel reading, and procession
This part of the service prepares us to go back out into the world. After a blessing from the priest, we hear “The Last Gospel”. This is usually the first chapter of the John’s Gospel. We are reminded of who Christ is and what that means for us. As we sing a final hymn, the priest and acolytes process out of the church. Feel free to get up and join us for coffee hour at this time!

When Do I...

Stand, Sit or Kneel?
Directions to stand, sit, or kneel are marked in the bulletin, you can also follow along with what you see others doing. Generally we stand for the Gospel and hymns, sit for lessons, and kneel for prayers.

We bow, curtsey, or genuflect as we approach the altar to show humility because we believe that God dwells there in the consecrated host. Some people also bow at the name of Jesus, and when the crucifer (person carrying the large cross) passes by during procession.

We make the sign of the Cross to recall Jesus’ selfless love and sacrifice for us, and to profess the deepest mysteries of the Christian faith, the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We “cross ourselves” several times during the service, you’ll catch on, and you can make this sign any time you wish to remember God’s love, no matter where you are.
To make the sign of the cross, use your right hand and touch your forehead, then your abdomen, then your left shoulder, and finally your right shoulder.

There are a few parts of the service where we make a response to something the priest says. These are noted in the bulletin. Don’t worry if it takes time to get the hang of it, you will!

Visit St. Edward’s

Sundays: Morning Prayer begins at 9:30 am, Holy Eucharist begins at 10:00 am.

Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri Morning Prayer begins at 10:00 am, Holy Eucharist begins at 10:30 am

Weekday schedule is subject to change. Please text or call Fr Corey at (865) 719-8051 to confirm if you plan to attend.

Children are welcome!

St. Edward’s is located at 6361 North Keystone Avenue, on the north side of Indianapolis.

If you are approaching from the north, you will need to make a U-turn at 64th Street in order to enter the church parking lot from Keystone Avenue.