The Anglican Spiritual tradition and Worship is both Protestant and catholic. Anglicanism, as the name suggests, emerged in England during the time of the Protestant Reformation. However, the Anglican Church is distinct from other Protestant Churches in that it retains the rich worship and practice of the Ancient Church.
Our worship follows the pattern of how Christians worshipped for centuries. We call this “liturgy” which literally means “the work of the people.” Worship is supposed to be active, and so everybody participates in the liturgy through singing, prayers, listening to God’s Word, repentance, and receiving Communion. The Ancient Church has always placed a high value on Beauty in worship. Our sanctuary is adorned with beautiful furniture, our music is beautifully sung, and our liturgy uses rich, powerful, and beautiful symbols which direct our attention on God.
Anglicanism employs one’s entire body in worship. God is communicated to us through all five of our senses. We hear the beautiful music, Scripture lessons, sermon, and sanctus bells. We see the symbols of the liturgy which direct our attention to God. We smell the wine at Communion and occasionally the incense. We feel our bodies kneeling in humble submission to God. We taste the consecrated bread and wine as we receive God’s grace through the Sacrament. In every possible way, each of our senses direct our attention to the worship of God.
There are two main parts to Anglican worship which we call “Word and Sacrament.” The first half of the service focuses upon the Scriptures and responding to the Scriptures through Prayer. The second half of the service focuses upon the “Sacrament” which is commonly called “Holy Communion” or “the Eucharist.” We find this pattern in the Ancient Church.