OUR BELIEFS

What is an Episcopalian?
An Episcopalian is a person who belongs to the Episcopal Church.
“Episcopal” means ”governed by bishops.”

 

The Episcopal Church is:
• a member of the Anglican Communion
• derived from the Church of England and shares with it the tradition of faith and order as set forth in its Book of Common Prayer
• one whose traditions include attitudes that are Protestant and Catholic, ancient and reformed, liberal and conservative.

The earliest settlers brought the Anglican faith to the American wilderness. It spread rapidly as the country expanded westward.
Today, there are about 2.5 million members in the U.S.

 

There are 3 basic sources of Episcopal Church beliefs:
• Holy Scripture (the primary source of doctrine)
• Reason (gifts of the Holy Spirit)
• Church tradition (wisdom of generations past)

How Episcopalians worship:
The Episcopal Church is liturgical.
This means it has formal rites for public worship (drawn from past ages as well as from the present).



Episcopalians use 3 central texts:
• Bible – read throughout the Church year.
• Book of Common Prayer – contains calendar of Church year, services and prayers.
• Hymnal – contains hymns and chants.

The texts vary little from parish to parish. Services may vary greatly, from very plain services to those with great ceremony and splendor.