What Do They Do In There?

Welcome to St. Barnabas!

Perhaps you have passed our church a few times and considered attending a service, but you wonder what will happen.

For a preview, it’s easy to find a free online copy of the 2019 ACNA Prayer Book:


We usually follow the Eucharist service that starts on page 105. You can read through the service ahead of time to get oriented.

Here’s a guide:

  1. Someone will hand you a leaflet as you enter. Hang onto this. The inside back cover has a step-by-step outline of the service, keyed to page numbers in the hymnal and Prayer Book.
  2. Sit anywhere you like.
  3. About 10 minutes before the service begins (i.e., around 9:50 am) the pianist leads us in four “warm-up” pre-service hymns from the Celebration Hymnal, copies of which are located at the ends of the pews. During the service, we switch to the 1940 Hymnal found in the rack in front of you.
  4. The service begins with a processional hymn (from the 1940 Hymnal) followed by an acclamation found inside the front cover of your leaflet.
  5. The service continues on page 106 of the Prayer Book (in the rack in front of you) with the Collect for Purity. The service then follows sequentially through the Prayer Book, with a few digressions.
  6. On page 108, the Prayer Book indicates that the “Lessons” for the day will be read. There is an Old Testament lesson, a Psalm, a New Testament lesson, and a Gospel lesson. They change from week to week but all are printed in your leaflet. We stand to recite the Psalm. We stand again to hear the Gospel lesson and, to make it extra special, we frame the Gospel lesson with a hymn, typically singing a couple of verses before and the remaining verses after the Gospel. The hymn number is in your leaflet.
  7. After the Gospel lesson comes the sermon hymn (usually announced but also listed in your leaflet) and the sermon.
  8. We return to the Prayer Book at page 109 for the Nicene Creed, then the Prayers of the People on pages 110-111. At the top of page 112, the priest adds prayers for members of the parish, then we continue with the Confession, Absolution, and Comfortable Words on pages 112-114.
  9. On page 114, the priest says, “Peace be with you,” and we respond, “and with your spirit.” Then there is a break while the priest prepares the bread and wine for the Eucharist. A collection is taken during this time and when it is brought to the front we sing: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
  10. Now we are at page 115 for the Sursum Corda (“lift up your hearts”) and then we sing the Sanctus (“holy, holy, holy”). Bells are rung to mark this important moment.
  11. Next comes the Prayer of Consecration on pages 116-117. Bells are rung at additional important moments.
  12. Then we say together the Lord’s Prayer on page 118 and the Prayer of Humble Access on page 119, then we sing the Agnus Dei (“lamb of God”).
  13. Then comes the Eucharist, which is open to all baptized Christians. To protect health, the wafers are distributed using tongs, the wine is provided in individual cups. If you have limited mobility, we will bring the bread and wine to you.
  14. Next we have the post-communion prayer on page 121, then some brief announcements, then a blessing and a recessional hymn. Then a brief prayer and another hymn while the candles on the altar are extinguished.
  15. The final exchange is “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, alleluia, alleluia!” “Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia!”

It can be a bit complex working with two hymnals and a Prayer Book and a leaflet, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. The people sitting around you will be happy to help.

Don’t be shy! If you have been meaning to come to church, this is a good time to do it!

About Saint Barnabas Anglican Church of Seattle

Rooted in Scripture & Steeped in Anglican Tradition. A church that worships from the King James Version of the Bible and the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer. A diverse congregation committed to Jesus Christ.
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2 Responses to What Do They Do In There?

  1. Lu Gardiner says:

    Thank you for this. Love this outline. I needed this twenty years ago. See you Sunday. Lu Gardiner

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