Worship and Liturgy

Our worship reflects the eternal rhythms and tensions of human existence: celebration and contemplation, joy and penitence, jubilation and silence, movement and stillness, thanksgiving and lamentation…

The Eucharist is central to our corporate worship. We have two celebrations of the Eucharist each weekend: a Saturday evening service at 5:00 and a Sunday morning service at 10:00. At the Sunday service our choir leads the congregation in singing the liturgy and hymns and provides anthems at the offertory and at communion. A homily or sermon is preached at both services.

Our liturgical practice is rooted in the Book of Common Prayer, Rite Two. Language from other rites such as Iona, Taizé and the New Zealand prayer book is used from time to time.

We believe that lay people are called to be ministers in the church as surely as priests and deacons are. At St. Stephen’s there is a wholehearted response to this call. The altar guild prepares and cares for the vestments, frontals and all linens and vessels used in the Eucharist. The guild also prepares the service kits used by our Lay Eucharistic Visitors. Acolytes and Lay Eucharistic Ministers serve at the altar. Lay Eucharistic Visitors take communion from the service to parish members who are homebound because of illness or infirmity. Children are invited to participate in the service in a variety of ways.

A roster of lectors take turns reading lessons. Ushers and greeters help people move comfortably into and through the church. Our hospitality team prepares refreshments for a social hour after the 10:00 a.m. service to which all are welcome. A special table is set up with refreshments for children.

All ministers are well-trained and commissioned, and the level of lay commitment in this parish is consistently high.

Palms and communion being distributed curbside during the coronavirus pandemic.