WORSHIP ON SUNDAYS
- 8.00 am – Holy Communion (at St Helen’s during the months of October, December, February, April, June, August; otherwise at St Nicolas’ in the Market Place)
- 9.15 am – on the 2nd Sundays of the month: Morning Praise (short service)
- 10.30 am – Sung Eucharist with Junior Church
- 5.30 pm – Evening Service:
- 1st Sunday – Vespers
- 2nd Sunday – Taize worship
- 3rd Sunday – Choral Evensong
- 4th Sunday – Service for Healing and Wholeness
- 5th Sunday – Sung Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer
(Any changes to these patterns are found in the weekly Newsletter or on the EVENTS page. For example there may be different service times on Remembrance Sunday in November.)
In faithfulness to Jesus’s command ‘Do this…’ the people of St Helen’s celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday.
The 8 am Communion is celebrated according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (slightly adapted) with readings according to the ecumenical three-year cycle. A short sermon is preached. The service takes about forty-five minutes.
The 10.30 am Sung Eucharist is the main service celebrated in contemporary language with full-robed choir according to Order One of Common Worship. Children and young people join in the service in different ways (see ‘Children & Young People’), and lay people play a full part as greeters, sidesmen, servers, lectors, intercessors and sacramental assistants. A sermon is always preached at this service, sometimes as part of a series including local and visiting clergy.
Refreshments and fellowship follow the service in the South Aisle of the church.
Evening Worship at 5.30pm offers variety of form and style for those who cannot attend morning worship, or who wish to honour Anglicanism’s strong tradition of Sunday evening devotion.
From February 7th 2016, on the first Sunday of the month will be a short service of Biblical prayer and praise, exploring the rich tradition of Christian chant, and featuring creative engagement with Scripture through discussion, imagination, contemplation, music, and the visual arts, provisionally entitled 'Vespers'.
On second Sundays Taizé Worship offers a relaxed, contemplative form of evening prayer with chants from the ecumenical community at Taizé, France, accompanied by instrumentalists. The service takes place in the South Aisle gathered around the ‘Taizé Cross’. A short address or spiritual reading is offered. The service is about 45 minutes.
Choral Evensong on third Sundays is offered according to the order for Evening Prayer of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (slightly adapted). The service includes hymns, and Preces and Canticles and an anthem sung by full choir. The service is about 40 minutes. Very often this service is preceded by an informal concert and teas. Please see the EVENTS tab or check the newsletter pages. Occasionally the third Sunday service is a simple Evensong.
The Service for Healing and Wholeness on the fourth Sundays is the Eucharist which includes laying-on of hands and anointing for healing for those who wish it. Two of the morning readings are used, and a short sermon is given. The service is about 45 minutes.
On the occasional fifth Sundays when they happen through the year, there is the 'Winchester Service', Sung Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer.
WORSHIP - MONDAY TO FRIDAY MORNINGS
Morning Prayer at 9.10 am – The Lady Chapel. Using the order for each season from Common Worship, this service lasts about twenty-five minutes. A hymn is usually sung and time of open prayer, silently or aloud, is included.
Wednesday Church at 10.30 am – The South Aisle. This simple celebration of Holy Communion using an adapted form of Common Worship’s traditional ‘Order Two’ includes a brief homily. It is followed by fellowship and refreshments in the South Aisle. Those who have become part of this weekday congregation enjoy the sense of togetherness enormously. This is an ideal way to share in worship and life at St Helen’s if you can’t make Sunday morning at 10.30 am but are free on Wednesday mornings. During winter months this service may be held in the Parish Centre opposite the North Door of the church.
Evening Prayer at 5.10 pm – The Lady Chapel. Using an adapted short order from Common Worship, this service lasts about fifteen minutes. A hymn is often sung. This service includes intercessions for each member of St Helen’s congregation.
SPECIAL SERVICES Consult the weekly Newsletter for notices about special weekday services or see the calendar at www.achurchnearyou.com/abingdon-st-helen/
‘The Eucharist sums up in itself Christian worship, experience and theology in an amazing richness. It combines Word and Sacrament; its appeal is to spirit and sense; it brings together the sacrifice of Calvary and the presence of the risen Christ; it is communion with God and communion with man; it covers the whole gamut of religious moods and emotions…The Eucharist also gathers up the meaning of the Church; its whole action implies and sets forth our mutual interdependence in the body of Christ; it unites us with the Church of the past and even, through its paschal overtones, with the first people of God, as an anticipation of the heavenly banquet.’
--Professor John Macquarrie
(John Macquarrie, a Master of Theology)