What is the Episcopal Church?
The Episcopal Church in the United States is one branch of
the worldwide Anglican Communion numbering 60 million
members in more than 100 countries. Although based on
the tradition and heritage of the Church of England, the
Anglican church in each country is independent. The
name "Episcopal" is a Greek word meaning "governed by
bishops." The Episcopal Church in the United States,
which has about 2.5 million members, was organized in 1789,
How does the Episcopal Church worship?
The worship of the Episcopal Church is a liturgical style of
worship, similar to that in Roman Catholic and Greek
Orthodox churches. You will find a quiet and reverent
beauty in its worship, combined with beautiful choral and
congregational singing. All of its worship services
are found in the Book of Common Prayer, which was first
written in 1549, when the Church of England declared its
independence from Rome. Most Sunday worship services
include the Holy Communion and a sermon.
What should I do when I attend an Episcopal
All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion,
whether or not you are an Episcopalian. Our worship
combines prayers, hymns, confession and praised based on
services in the Book of Common Prayer. We stand during
parts of the worship, sit at others, and kneel at others.
The Sunday worship bulletin contains the page numbers for
each part of the service. Just follow along as best
you can and don't worry if you don't quite get it all right.
What do Episcopalians believe?
Anglicanism has historically bridged Protestantism and
Catholicism. In its worship and theology, you will
find elements of Roman Catholic and Protestant theology.
Our approach Christianity is based on Scripture, tradition,
and reason. We also believe that Jesus Christ is
divine, and that we are saved by turning from our sins and
accepting God's love offered through Jesus Christ.
If you are a newcomer to the Episcopal Church, you can
find informative resources at the following web sites:
National web site of The Episcopal Church at
Peek Through The Window of the Episcopal Church at