Make a Joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into God’s presence with singing. Enter the gates with thanksgiving, and courts with praise. Give thanks to God, bless God’s name.
Psalm 100:1-2, 4
Regular morning worship begins at 11 am.
In St James’ Chapel on the 1st Sunday of the month after morning worship we celebrate Holy Communion. On the 3rd Sunday of the month after morning worship we gather for a service of prayer where we remember those named in prayer requests.
In worship we pray, we sing, and we reflect.
We practise our faith. We practise confessing. We practise forgiveness. We practise hospitality. We practise generosity. We learn to be God’s people.
We open our hearts to God. We are shaped by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Sometimes joyful and sometimes sombre, worship always aims to be thoughtful, honest and hopeful.
If you are new to Christian worship (or simply new to the Cathedral), our style of worship may be unfamiliar. This guide invites you to participate fully in our service by explaining what we do and why we do it.
We hope you will come again next Sunday, and the next, and that eventually you may feel at home here. May you find rest for your soul in this house of God. If you are visiting from out of town, please take our Christian greetings back to your home congregation. Your presence with us is a blessing and we hope our presence with you will bring blessing.
As the organist begins to play, we gather and prepare our hearts and minds for worship. During this time, some quietly speak with friends, others listen to the music, and some pray. At this time, we ask everyone to put their mobile phone on silent. This is also helpful with other electronic devices too. For the next hour, we invite you to give yourself (and the people sitting around you) a rest from the demands and reminders of the world. This is not to escape or deny real life but to refresh our soul and take to heart the true meaning of Sabbath. We also ask you to refrain from taking photographs during the service.
In singing, we praise God and deepen our faith. We usually stand (if able) when we sing. We also sing the doxology after the offering and a choral Amen at the end of the service. Apart from the psalms, many of the hymns we sing are traditional and will find a home in our heart and nourish our soul.
Every week, soon after the beginning of the service, we confess our sins with remorse. We have all done things that have hurt others and distanced ourselves from God’s will. As part of the prayer of confession the minister will offer the “Assurance of Pardon”—a reminder of the core message of the gospel, that God forgives us completely and unconditionally and loves us beyond our imagining. We also connect with the Universal Church or Church Catholic in saying together the Lord’s Prayer. The usual form in the Cathedral for the Lord’s Prayer is to use the word ‘trespasses’.
INTROIT, ANTHEM, OFFERTORY & SOLOS
Through sacred music, we may encounter the beauty of holiness. At the Cathedral, we experience organ, choral, vocal and instrumental music from many historic periods and cultures, including contemporary music. These selections reflect our diverse community even as they honour the rich traditions and heritage of this historic church.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
Together we give voice to our faith by reciting the ancient Christian statement of belief, The Apostles’ Creed. In this moment we connect with a rich tradition that challenges Christians to answer this question: ‘What is my faith calling to me to say and do, given the world in which I live?’ This creed is a collective testimonygiven in response to hearing God’s Word read to the congregation, and links us to Christians past, present and future.
PRAYERS OF GRATITUDE AND CONERN
We offer our concerns and hopes up to God. We pray together for members of this community, for the city and country in which we live, and for the world that God loves.
The pulpit and lectern are focal points of the Sanctuary, as the hearing and preaching of the Word of God provide focus to our worship. Scripture is sometimes read by members of the congregation. We listen and reflect on our faith as we read from Scripture. The Minister then makes relevant connections between God’s written Word and the world in which we live through the preaching of the sermon.
We give back to God. The monetary offerings of our members and visitors fund our work as a church. We give to make church
happen active, to help change people’s lives, and to act out of the generosity that fills our hearts when we contemplate the One who has given us life, grace, and love.
In baptism, we welcome new Christians (both children and adults) into the Covenant of God and household of faith.We do this by sprinkling or pouring water on their heads and blessing them, a practice that echoes the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Baptism is one of two sacraments in the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition (the other is Communion). Presbyterians describe baptism as a sign and seal of the grace of God and his Covenant into which he has co-opted the infant children of believers or adult new Christians. In baptism, God identifies us as his beloved children, regenerating us and grafting us on to Christ and his Church. Baptism is a public and communal sacrament: together, the congregation commits to supporting these new Christians in their life of faith.
Apart from the major quarterly Sacrament for the whole congregation, we also celebrate Communion (alternatively known as the Lord’s Supper or as the Eucharist) in St James’ Chapel behind the chancel on the first Sunday of the month. We re-tell the story of Jesus sharing bread and wine with his disciples and reassuring them and us at the Last Supper. Then we share the “bread of life” and the “cup of salvation” with one another as food for body and soul. Through this simple and beautiful sacrament, we are incorporated into the New Covenant of salvation by Christ’s sacrificial death with the promise of participating in his resurrected and immortal body. This is shared with all believers who sit at his table—those who come from east and west, north and south, to feast in the kingdom of God. We also celebrate Communion at other times, such as when an important saint is remembered, like St Andrew’s Day.
At the conclusion of the service, we are blessed and sent back into the world, encouraged by the good news, empowered to be God’s people, and eager to do his work.
IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF PRAYER
Please visit the lower church and the prayer chapel to pray in private or you may leave written prayer requests on one of the cards provided.