Worshiping at Bethesda
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we invite you to worship with us each week at Bethesda, or whenever you are able. If you are new to The Episcopal Church or to this parish, please see information in the newcomers section of this website.
As an Episcopal Church in the United States, we are part of the larger Anglican Communion, a global Christian denomination which has its roots in the Church of England. Our liturgies are built upon a strong scriptural foundation, and benefit from the rich textual and choral heritage of the Anglican tradition, which manifests itself in the language of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and the Hymnal 1982.
Upcoming Worship Services
Click on any event below to read more details. For a complete listing of all upcoming worship services, click here.
Worship News Feed
Click on any news item below to read more details. For a complete listing of all the latest news, click here.
Our Lent Study this year will be an introduction to the life and contemplative writings of the late Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton.
We look forward to special music by saxophonist, Robert Moore, who will play works by Bach, Handel, and Purcell during the 9am liturgy.
Just a reminder: there will be only on service at 9am on Sunday, 31 December.
Please “read more” for the entire schedule. Please note: morning services on 24 December, 25 December and 31 December are at 9am.
The Choir will sing traditional French, English and German Carols, as well as works by Vaughan Williams, Warlock, Charpentier and Dave Brubeck.
Types of Worship Services
In the typical week, there are two types of worship services: (1) Holy Eucharist and (2) The Office.
(1) Holy Eucharist
Also called Holy Communion and the “Mass,” Holy Eucharist may be said or sung, and may be relatively short or long. In 2022, while the roof is being repaired, the Eucharist is offered only on Sundays: at 8am (said, about 30-40 minutes) and at 10am (sung, about an hour). Each Eucharist includes the reading of Holy Scripture, prayers, often a sermon, and, of course, Holy Communion itself. If you enjoy music, we recommend the Sunday 10am Eucharist.
In the Episcopal Church, all baptized Christians are welcome to make their Holy Communion. If you are not baptized, you are welcome to come up to the altar rail. Simply cross your arms over your chest and we will offer you a blessing. And if you would like to be baptized, or would like to ask questions about it, we’d be delighted to talk to you. Contact us.
You will notice on the calendar that some Eucharists are listed as Rite I (usually 8am and 10am on Sundays) and some as Rite II (usually 5pm on Saturdays, when offered). Both of these rites (or forms) are fully laid out in the 1979 BCP. Rite I uses relatively traditional language, and Rite II uses relatively contemporary language.
Finally, please note that until recently Bethesda offered the Eucharist at noon on Wednesdays. However, due to work involved in our roof repair, weekday services have been put on hold during this time. We hope to return to weekday services when the work is done. Keep an eye on Latest News on this website for updates as they occur.
(2) The Daily Office
Sometimes called the Divine Office or The Liturgy of the Hours, The Daily Office does not include Holy Communion. Rather it involves the reading of psalms and the saying of prayers at ordered intervals throughout the day. At Bethesda, we have typically offered Mattins (Morning Prayer) on Sundays at 7:20am and Midday Prayer at noon on three weekdays per week. However, due to work involved in our roof repair, we have suspended these services beginning in March 2022 so the work may be accomplished. We hope to return to weekday services when the work is complete, and we’ll let you know in Latest News when it is.
We encourage you to learn more about the Office, as it may help you in prayer and devotional life. Consider reading more on The Episcopal Church’s website, or take a good look at the 1979 BCP. You will find the rubrics for The Office in the opening chapters (pages 37-144).
What to Expect at Church
Worship at Bethesda might best be described as reverent, and we hope welcoming also. At Sunday services parishioners and visitors receive a printed bulletin, and there are hymnals in the pews. You can also find the Sunday bulletin on this website attached to each Sunday 10am service on the website calendar.
Ours is a historic church, and our beautiful building is a fitting sanctuary for worship. It has all the charms (stained glass and word work) and some of the shortcomings (just one, small restroom) common to such buildings. Rest assured, it is heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer. There is no on-site parking at Bethesda, however free parking garages and street parking are available.
Although we are wired throughout the church for sound, we also offer hand-held units for the hearing impaired. Please ask an usher standing in the rear of the church if you would like to try out one of these devices.
Thanks to donations given to our Building Fund, Bethesda is handicap accessible. There is a wheelchair lift located in the main side entrance to our church. Please have someone notify an usher if you need help operating the lift.
See the latest guidelines for in-person worship.