WHAT TO EXPECT
WORSHIP AT OTEY MEMORIAL PARISH
Otey is currently streaming services and conducting meetings via Zoom. When public health conditions make it safe to resume in-person services, there will be significant restrictions for a time. As long as restrictions on attendance remain, services will continue to be offered on video as well as in person.
If you are the new to Otey Memorial Parish, we would love to hear from you. This can be a challenging time to move to a new community or join a new faith community, since we do not all see each other at services. Please let us know you're here, and we will help you begin to make connections.
Worship at Otey Parish follows the Episcopal Church liturgy found in the Book of Common Prayer. We enter in reverent silence (and some may kneel to pray) as we prepare our hearts to worship. The service normally begins with a procession: someone carries a cross, others bring torches, and ministers follow. Singing may be accompanied by piano, organ, other instruments.
Liturgical worship encourages participation and response: Standing, sitting, kneeling (optional), verbal responses, praying The Lord's Prayer and other written prayers together, singing hymns, giving, making the sign of the cross, and (when Communion is celebrated) receiving bread and wine.
Those who are new to this kind of worship need not try to keep up or worry about "doing it wrong." Episcopalians have individual ways of worshiping, and no one is grading you. Enjoy the liturgy and participate as you desire and are able.
Guests are welcomed during the announcements; we will not call you out unexpectedly or ask you to publicly introduce yourself. During the Passing of the Peace, we will greet one another with "Peace of the Lord" or similar words. Normally these greetings would include a handshake, or perhaps a hug or kiss between close friends and family. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, when we meet in person again we will need to maintain physical distance with anyone not in our own household.
The service usually ends with a recessional. The crucifer, torchbearers, and ministers walk back down the aisle, and the deacon dismisses the service. Some folks like to remain seated until the musician(s) finish playing. Though we are quiet and introspective before the service, we are very social afterward. This is a wonderful time to meet people and check in with old friends.
For those interested, there are many opportunities to help lead worship. Please speak to the rector if you would like to serve in this way. The most important role is to be a praying, responsive member of the congregation.