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Prayer, worship, and contemplation occupy much of our time at All Saints'. These are the primary path of faith formation and Christian discipleship. A mid-20th century Church of England pastoral theologian wrote that, for Anglicans, reading the Daily Offices, celebrating the Mass, and praying personal devotions is the foundation of our spiritual life. We read the Daily Offices to God the Father, we celebrate the Mass with God the Son, and we pray our devotions in God the Holy Spirit. Here's a brief description of each as we practice it at All Saints'.

 

The Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer are a distillation of lengthy pre-Reformation monastic prayers, shortened into a ritual that is usable and accessible for people who aren't monks. These offices take about 20 minutes to read and are made up of psalms, scriptures, canticles, and collects appointed for the day within the liturgical season. Priests are generally expected to read the offices as part of their duties, but these offices are intentionally meant for lay people, too. Because all 150 psalms are recited over the course of one month or so, and nearly the entirety of the Bible is read over the course of two years, the Daily Offices are the primary way we become steeped in the scriptures. 

The Mass is the central, indispensable act of Christian worship. In it we receive the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Communion, which is the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, contained in the elements of bread and wine. And we gather as the Church, the people of God, the Body of Christ, to pray, to hear God's word proclaimed and broken open, and to be sent back into the world forgiven, healed, and renewed. The 10:00 am Sunday Mass is when most of us assemble. This service takes about 75 minutes and includes several congregational hymns, and other music prepared for choir and pipe organ. 8:00 am Sunday Mass takes about 45 minutes, and weekday Masses take about 25 minutes.

We open our doors Monday through Thursday at 3:00 pm for Holy Hour. This is time for private, personal prayer, devotion, and contemplation. Anyone can come in to sit in silence for the entire hour, or just for a few minutes. There is no liturgy or ritual except for a brief closing rite at the very end. Our space is filled with sacred images and objects which some use to center their time. Others may wish to sit with their eyes closed. A primary point of focus is the Blessed Sacrament which is held in a Monstrance in the Chapel of our Lady, off to the left side of the sanctuary. For people with this Eucharistic piety, there is no better place to rest the eyes. 

From 3:00 - 3:30 pm, during Holy Hour we offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Confession). This strictly confidential rite is administered in the small room on the right side of the sanctuary. For any who are carrying sins that seem burdensome, confessing these sins to the priest, receiving brief counsel, and hearing of God's love and forgiveness through the words of absolution can be liberating and life-giving. The Episcopal Church tradition around this Sacrament is "all may, some should, none must." If this time is not convenient for you, and you wish the healing grace of the Sacrament, please make an appointment with Father Dan. And, of course, if you wish to know more about any of this or other activities at All Saints', please make an appointment to speak with Father Dan.

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