The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church
St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, led by Bishop Lawrence C. Provenzano. We and the people of the Episcopal Church believe that Jesus died to save us and bring us into new life with God. We celebrate our continuing life through worship, prayer, and sacrament. The primary act of worship is the celebration of the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper) in which we remember and celebrate Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
We celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and at many other services of worship throughout the year.
All Episcopal churches use The Book of Common Prayer, which contains prayers, liturgies, historical documents, church calendar, catechism (statement of what we believe) and the lectionary (Scripture readings from the Bible used in liturgy). The two main sacraments in the Episcopal Church are the sacrament of Baptism, which initiates us into new life with Christ, and the Eucharist. Other traditional rites include confirmation, ordination, marriage, reconciliation (confession and absolution) and anointing of the sick.
Episcopalians believe in the Trinitarian God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, found in the prayer book, outline our beliefs; we recite them during our worship.
The Episcopal Church is descended from the Church of England, and through the consecration of bishops, has roots back to Jesus and his original followers. In the 16th century, the Church of England developed and moved away from the oversight of the Pope, but did not reject its Catholic origins. It followed a middle way between what became the Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church. Churches in the Anglican Communion are both Protestant and Catholic, maintain traditions of both those branches of Christianity, and are overseen (episcope in Greek) by bishops.
In 1789, members of the Church of England in American colonies started a new, independent church consistent with their new, independent country, based on many of the same principles and self-governing. It maintains a relationship—centered on common faith, traditions, history, and the use of The Book of Common Prayer—with the Church of England and the other Anglican churches around the world that make up the Anglican Communion.
Adapted from “Episcopal Church Q’s and A’s” by Catherine Anne Ciamano Forward Movement Publications, 1999.