Anglican and Church in Wales worship

The exterior of St Asaph Cathedral
St Asaph Cathedral, in Denbighshire, north Wales is the Mother Church within the diocese of St Asaph, which is one of the six dioceses of the Church in Wales

Public worship focuses on praising God through preaching, Bible reading, prayer and music, especially in the Holy Communion service where people receive the bread and wine. Because this is liturgical worship, the words and actions to be followed are set out in the Book of Common Prayer. There are also services of morning and evening prayer.

Features of worship

  • The altar or Communion Table is the main focus and is where the Holy Communion service takes place. This is because Jesus' death is considered a sacrifice. There is also a pulpit where the sermon is preached and a lectern where the Bible is placed for reading aloud to the people.
  • There may be choir stalls and an organ to accompany hymn singing. Candles and a cross remind people of the death of Jesus and his resurrection. Many churches have stained glass windows that tell stories in pictures from the Bible.
  • Some Anglican services are very formal and similar to the Catholic Mass, but others are very simple and informal.
  • The priest leads the Holy Communion part of the service in most churches but in some a lay reader conducts them. At various points, people go to the altar to receive bread and wine, which represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
  • The congregation follows the service in the prayer book and responds to the prayers. Readings and some prayers usually change every week but others stay the same. Readings from the Bible are followed by a sermon that explains their meaning for people today.

The service usually ends with an opportunity for quiet reflection.