the episcopal church

What we believe


Prior to the Revolutionary War, the Episcopal Church was part of the Church of England. After winning the war, the Episcopal Church was re-organized into an independent denomination and continues to be a constituent member of the world-wide Anglican Communion. 

Anglicanism is a bridge between the reformed, Protestant churches and the Catholic Church, drawing heavily from both of those traditions. Our faith is guided by the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the traditional belief of the church as stated in the Nicene Creed, and the incorporation of our intellect through informed reasoning.

From the Catholic tradition we uphold the three-fold orders of ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons. We also find God’s grace shared with humanity through the seven historic sacraments of the church:  Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Ordination, Marriage, Anointing, and Reconciliation. The sacramental life of the church is open to all its members regardless of gender or sexual orientation—including marriage and ordination.  In the Episcopal Church, all baptized persons are welcome to receive Holy Communion at any of our services.

God loves you, and so do we.  If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact Father Kevin Carroll, Dean of All Saints’, at kevin.carroll@ascathedral.org.

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Scripture

Scripture is the word of God contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The 39 books of the Old Testament contain the story of God's love from the time of Creation to the birth of his son, Jesus Christ. The books contain God's laws as He gave them to the Hebrew people.

The New Testament contains Christ's teachings, the accounts of his life as told by his followers and the beginning of his Church. It is written in 27 books. Within an Episcopal worship service, Scripture is read in the lessons, the Gospel (the teachings of Jesus), the Psalms (poems from the Old Testament) and other prayers. Additionally, two-thirds of our guide to worship, The Book of Common Prayer, comes from the Old and New Testaments.


Tradition

We are not Christians in isolation but are part of a living faith that spans 2000 years. Tradition is the embodiment of our experience as Christens throughout the centuries. The heart of our tradition is express the Bible, the Creeds, (statements of faith, written in the first centuries of the Church’s existence), the Sacraments of the church (Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders).

Our tradition is expressed with many voices, among which are a variety of worship styles, languages, cultures, architecture, and music. Our tradition encourages this diversity.


Reason

Each one of us, with God's help, makes a decision about how we integrate tradition and Scripture into our lives. A personal relationship with God allows us to realize and celebrate our lives to the fullest. Surrounded by God's grace and informed by Scripture, our intellect connects our body and soul to exercise our call to love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves.


Sacrament

A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. In the Episcopal Church, we take part in certain sacrament acts of worship that our reenactments of Jesus' ministries here on earth. The two primary sacraments are Baptism and Holy Communion.

We believe that God is actively present in the world and in us. In the sacraments, we realize his presence and his favor towards us. Though the sacraments, which are freely given to us by God, our sins are forgiven, our minds are enlightened, our hearts are stirred and our will strengthened.

These sacraments are contained in the worship services of The Book of Common Prayer. A complete outline of the Episcopal faith can be found on pages 845-862 of The Book of Common Prayer. Learn more about baptism, communion/eucharist, and the other sacraments (reconciliation, confirmation, unction,


Creed

In the Episcopal Church, we use both the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed in our worship. Both are statements that contain the summary of our beliefs, and because we are a community of faith, we openly declare these beliefs to unite ourselves to the Christians in the past, present and future. The word "creed" comes from the Latin word credo, which means “I believe."

The Nicene Creed was written in the year 325 by the early bishops meeting in the city of Nicaea, which is in modern-day Turkey. The Nicene Creed is used in the Episcopal Church during services of Holy Communion or Eucharist.

The Apostles' Creed was not written by the apostles! It is a statement of faith that we probably crafted in the 8th century as a statement of faith to be used during baptisms in the western (Roman Catholic) church. This creed is used in the Episcopal Church during a service of baptism. It is sometimes included in services of Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer.


B.C.P.

The Book of Common Prayer is a collection of ancient and modern prayers and worship services for occasions when the community gathers. It is also intended for individual use as well.

"Common" does not mean "ordinary." It refers to the idea that our worship is communal, said or sung together in a community of believers. The Book of Common Prayer contains all the services for Morning and Evening Prayer, Holy Week, Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Marriage, Funerals, and ordinations. It also contains a summary of the historical documents of the church, the church calendar, the Psalter (The Book of Psalms) as well as prayers for corporate or domestic worship.


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