What to Expect
We welcome anyone and everyone no matter where you are in your journey of life – whether you have been a Christian for a long time or you are just exploring. In fact, if you visit an Episcopal church in our diocese and are not made to feel welcome, we hope you will tells us about it so that we can improve our hospitality. Contact: Cheryl Wilburn
What is an Episcopal service like?
Our worship consists of music, prayers, readings from Scripture and a sermon, followed by what we call the celebration of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, a sacred act of remembering and re-living Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
Episcopalians often will sit for one part of the service, stand for another, and kneel in between. Many parishes provide instructions to guide you in an Order of Service handed out by ushers. Others ask you to follow the service in the Book of Common Prayer, which you can usually find in your pew.
At some of our larger churches there are several services each Sunday. Sometimes the earliest service is quiet, low-keyed and may not include music. Some churches have developed special services geared to children and their families. Many churches have choirs that sing to the accompaniment of an organ at their principal Sunday services.
Musical styles vary greatly, and are influenced by the both long tradition of Anglican choral music and the folk traditions of the many nations that make up the Episcopal Church: Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela, Curacao, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Haiti, Honduras, Micronesia, Taiwan, the Virgin Islands and the United States.
Beyond Sunday morning
Under Bishop Budde’s leadership, congregations in the diocese have felt called to pay more attention to the lives of the communities outside of their walls and this has led them to participate in outdoor liturgical programs such as Street Church and Ashes to Go and ministries to the neighborhood which you can read about in our news section. The diocese and member parishes are also active on a range of pressing social issues including gun-violence reduction, racial justice, immigration reform, equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and environmental justice.
Adapted from St. Barnabas, Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Diocese of Washington spans the District of Columbia and the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s, and includes 88 churches and cathedral. Use our church finder, visit church websites and we believe you will find a congregation that is right for you.