Description of Services
Holy Eucharist (said)
Eucharist is the Greek word for thanksgiving. At the Eucharist we give thanks for Jesus’ gift of himself in the form of bread and wine as spiritual food for the baptized. It is a traditional, spoken service with a shorter sermon but no hymns. It captures the reflective and meditative feel of the early morning.
Holy Eucharist (sung)
The Eucharist is structured around the actions of taking, blessing, breaking, and sharing the gifts of bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ. It is a solemn, sung service with hymns and sermon. Many portions of the service are sung by the clergy and congregation as led by the Church choir. Anthems from the long choral tradition of Anglican Church music are featured.
The daily round of Christian prayer is divided into ‘offices’ or services reflecting the atmosphere and tempo of different times in the day. The Book of Common Prayer offers services for Morning, Midday, Evening, and Night Prayer. These link the pattern of our day, and our circadian (body) rhythm with an intentional sitting into the presence of God. The daily round of prayer is called Common Prayer to distinguish it from personal prayer. Common Prayer is the prayer of the whole Church and there isn’t a time in the 24-hour cycle when Christians from liturgical traditions somewhere in the world are not participating in the Common Prayer of the Church. When we participate in Morning Prayer at St Martin’s it is like plugging into the worldwide electrical circuit of Common Prayer.
Physically anchored to the rising and falling of the breath, we learn to observe the contents of our minds and the sensations of our bodies without following them along a path of distraction. We discover that while we have thoughts and feelings we are not our thoughts and feelings or put another way we are more than our thoughts and feelings. One nice analogy is that life is like being carried along through the turbulent rapids of our fast flowing river of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Meditation is climbing onto the bank and for a short time watching the flow of our river go by. Eventually, we rejoin the flow but now armed with greater awareness about what is happening to us.
Meditation is not only a holy practice it is also a holistic activity. Meditation supports better body and emotional health through the development of awareness or mindfulness, leading to a reduction of stress. It works at the mind-body-spirit interface, cultivating and strengthening in us a capacity for love-motivated whole person integration. We look forward to welcoming all curious seekers to our weekly practice.
Evensong is a choral setting of Evening Prayer derived from the monastic office of Vespers. Evensong is the crowning glory in the rich tradition of Anglican Church Music.