All Saints in Big Sky is a church rooted in what is often called a “liturgical” tradition. That means each Sunday we gather for a service of Holy Eucharist (Eucharist means “thanksgiving”) also called Holy Communion. These worship practices have been passed down to us through the centuries. We believe there is wisdom to be learned in these ancient patterns of song and prayer, scripture reading and sacrament. As we practice these patterns over time, they form us – deeply and richly – in faith.
If these practices are new to you, they may feel awkward at first. You will probably have questions. If so, please share your questions with the Pastor/Priest or another member of All Saints. Inspired by your questions, we will all grow more deeply in understanding and faith.
There are essentially four parts to Holy Eucharist:
Often we confess our sins and hear God’s word of forgiveness. Sometimes we give thanks to God for the gift of Holy Baptism. We sing ancient songs, sometimes a Kyrie (Lord, have mercy) or Glory to God. The Pastor/Priest prays a Collect, or Prayer of the Day, that “collects” all our prayers before we all sit down.
We listen to God’s word in three scripture passages from the Old and New Testaments, and join in praying from the Psalms (which have been prayed by Jews and Christians for thousands of years.) A sermon is preached, and we recite one of the ancient creeds (what we believe) of the church. We join in the Prayers of the People, interceding for the needs of the world. Then we turn to one another and share the peace of Christ with a handshake or hug.
An offering is collected for the church and those in need, and the table (or altar) is set with the gifts of bread and wine. The pastor/priest leads the assembly in the Great Thanksgiving prayer, which is like a fancy table grace that concludes with the Lord’s Prayer. All the assembly is welcomed to the table for bread and wine, or for a blessing from the Pastor/Priest.
The pastor/priest offers a final blessing, and we sing a sending song. The worship leader sends us forth, and the assembly concludes worship with these words: Thanks be to God.