The Bible is our foundation, understood through tradition and reason, we use our Book of Common Prayer to help us understand our Church's basic tenets of faith, to organize our services and enrich our personal faith life.
As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, and both our worship and our mission are in Christ’s name. In Jesus, we find that the nature of God is love, and through baptism, we share in his victory over sin and death.
The Bible is our foundation, understood through tradition and reason, containing all things necessary for salvation. Our worship is filled with Scripture from beginning to end.
The Episcopal Church takes reading the Bible very seriously. Approximately 70% of the Book of Common Prayer comes directly from the Bible, and Episcopalians read more Holy Scripture in Sunday worship than almost any other denomination in Christianity.
The Book of Common Prayer (also known by its acronym BCP) is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer. The Book of Common Prayer is available online: Book of Common Prayer.
The Catechism is offered in a question-and-answer format. It is found in the back of the Book of Common Prayer, pages 845-862, and helps teach the foundational truths of the Christian faith.
The Creeds are statements of belief. We will always have questions, but in the two foundational statements of faith – the Apostles’ Creed used at baptism, and the Nicene Creed used at communion – we join Christians throughout the ages in affirming our faith in the one God who created us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us.
“Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace” (Book of Common Prayer, page 857).
In the waters of baptism we are reminded that we belong to God and nothing can separate us from the love of God. We also find ourselves part of an extended family, one with Christians throughout the ages and across the world, what we call the “one, holy, catholic [meaning 'universal'], and apostolic Church.” The Rite of Holy Baptism can be found in the Book of Common Prayer, pages 297-308.
It goes by several names: Holy Communion, the Eucharist (which literally means "thanksgiving"), mass. But whatever it’s called, this is the family meal for Christians and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. As such, all persons who have been baptized, and are therefore part of the extended family that is the Church, are welcome to receive the bread and wine, and be in communion with God and each other.
The Holy Eucharist can be found in the Book of Common Prayer, pages 316-399.
Besides baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the church recognizes other spiritual markers in our journey of faith.
(The adult affirmation of our baptismal vows),
Book of Common Prayer, pages 413-419.
Reconciliation of a Penitent
Book of Common Prayer, pages 447-452.
Book of Common Prayer, pages 422-438.
(Ordination to deacon, priest, or bishop),
Book of Common Prayer, pages 510-555.
(Anointing with oil those who are sick or dying)
Book of Common Prayer, pages 453-467.
These help us to be a sacramental people, seeing God always at work around us.