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Frequently Asked Questions

The Episcopal Church

What is the Episcopal Church?

The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which traces its origins to the separation from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Boasting approximately eighty million members worldwide, the Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian denomination in the world.

What does the word “Episcopal” mean?

Literally, “governed by Bishops”. It describes the organizational structure of the church; the Episcopal Church is broken into diocese (which are similar to jurisdictions), each one led by a bishop, as well as assistant bishops, canons, and deacons.

How does the Episcopal Church differ from other Christian denominations?

While anyone familiar with various churches may notice tiny differences between the ways different denominations worship, there is no difference when it comes to the things that really matter! We, along with all schools of the Christian belief, share the faith as is and serve Christ in all that we do. People of any background in the Christian faith will feel right at home in our church.

Worship at St. Paul’s

Where is St. Paul’s located?

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is located at 298 South Harrison Avenue in Kankakee, Illinois. See the Worship Schedule and Location page for more information.

At what times do you meet for worship?

We offer two worship services every Sunday morning. At 8:00, we meet for a “said mass” that utilizes readings, prayers and Holy Communion to guide our worship. Or, join us at 10:15 a.m. for our service that brings dynamic and uplifting music to our worship as well.  During the summer months, June through mid-September, the 10:15 a.m. is moved to 9:30 a.m.

Every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.., we hold a Healing Service with Eucharist, during which prayers are offered for parishioners whose names have been submitted for the monthly prayer request list.

The Rosary is on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.

What should I expect when I come to visit? How do you worship?

St. Paul’s uses a wide variety of worship methods to offer our visitors a rich and spiritually rewarding experience. Biblical lessons, music, group prayer and the Eucharist comprise our worship each and every week, coming together to form a service that is both heavily based in the Episcopal tradition and mindful of contemporary components of the worship experience.

What should I wear if I attend services at St. Paul’s?

We at St. Paul’s enforce no strict dress code; what you wear is entirely up to you. While some people may like to dress up to go to church, this is more out of tradition than necessity. Come as you are, and focus on what’s really important – not what clothes you are wearing, but on praising God.

What are these books in front of me?

Most Episcopal churches mainly utilize two different books during worship, and St. Paul’s is no exception. When you come to a service and take a seat in a pew, you will find the Book of Common Prayer, which is the burgundy book with the gold cross on the cover, and a blue 1982 Hymnal.

The worship service frequently alternates between the two, but all page numbers will be announced before each prayer or song. If the order of worship seems confusing at first, don’t worry! It doesn’t take long to get used to it, and always feel free to ask someone near you if you get lost.

You do a lot of kneeling, standing and sitting. How do I know what to do when?

It’s been said that the general rule of thumb is, “Stand to sing, sit to listen, and kneel to pray.” You are always welcome to stand to pray also, or sit if you need to. If all else fails, just follow the example of those around you!

Am I welcome to receive Holy Communion?

Some churches impose strict guidelines for those who wish to participate in the Eucharist. We at St. Paul’s try to create an environment that embraces people of all faiths and all backgrounds. Anyone who wishes to receive the Holy Communion in the name of Christ are welcome and encouraged to do so.

I would like to become a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. How would I go about doing this?

Joining our church is a very easy process! If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact our rector for more information.