At Saint Thomas’, our services come from the Book of Common Prayer. There are prayer books in racks at each seat in the church. We offer a printed service booklet for many of our services. This booklet contains the prayers, psalms, hymns and so on, and includes instructions for those unfamiliar with an Episcopal service. We use the 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer at all our services.
Morning Prayer (also Mattins or Matins), in the various editions of the Book of Common Prayer and other Anglican liturgical texts, was, until the last quarter of the twentieth century, the main Sunday morning service on most Sundays in all but the most high church Anglican parishes, with Holy Communion being the main Sunday morning service once or twice per month, or rarely, quarterly.
Like Evensong (and in contrast to the Eucharist), it can be led by a layperson, and is recited by some devout Anglicans daily in private (clergy in many Anglican jurisdictions are required to do so). At Saint Thomas’, Morning Prayer is the main morning service on the second Sundays of most months and, for those months with five Sundays, on the fifth Sunday (unless a major holiday falls on that day).
Holy Communion (also known as the Eucharist) is the rite that Christians perform in fulfillment of the instruction (reported in 1 Corinthians 11:24–25) that Jesus gave to do in his memory. It is a sacramental or memorial reenactment of what he did at his Last Supper in giving his disciples bread, saying “This is my body,” and the cup, saying “This is my blood.”
Evening Prayer/Choral Evensong
The service of Evening Prayer, according to traditional prayer books such as the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer or the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer, is similar in structure to the equivalent Morning Prayer (or Mattins), but with different canticles and with evening-specific collects.
From time to time throughout the year, our parish and/or school choirs offer choral services of Evening Prayer (Evensong) using the rich repertoire of music composed for this service.