St. Peter’s is a parish within the Diocese of Virginia, a part of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, which is in turn part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Anglicans everywhere worship using modern versions of the Book of Common Prayer, whose roots go back to the first edition in 1549. The Church was determined, through the creation of this book, that lay people would participate in the liturgy, not simply have it performed for them by the clergy.
We continue that tradition of involvement, using the 1979 American edition; we use both the traditional (Rite I) and the contemporary (Rite II) language forms. The hymns we sing are mostly found in the 1982 Hymnal; we also make use of the more contemporary Wonder, Love and Praise hymnal supplement. We provide a printed service bulletin at every service.
In the Episcopal Church, our ordained ministers are referred to as bishops, priests, and deacons. The priest in charge of a parish is called a Rector. The two Assistant Rectors at St. Peter’s are priests who work for the Rector. We also commission lay readers, acolytes, and lay Eucharistic ministers to assist the priests at services. The Rector or one of the other priests usually preaches at each service.
At all services of Holy Eucharist we welcome all persons baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit to come forward to receive communion. Children are always welcome at the communion rail. Simply kneel or stand at the rail as directed by the ushers, then place your hands in front of you with your right hand over your left, palms facing upward. When the priest gives you the bread, you may either eat the bread and then drink the wine from the chalice when the lay minister comes before you (please help guide the chalice to your mouth with your right hand), or leave the bread in your hand until the lay minister comes before you, and dip the bread into the wine and then consume it. If you are not baptized or do not wish to receive communion we invite you to come forward for a blessing. To receive a blessing, kneel or stand at the rail and cross your arms over your chest.
We welcome all ages to attend all of our worship services. A nursery is available for infants and children younger than three from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the regular year, and from 9:45 a.m. To 11:15 a.m. during July and August.