28 Main Street North, Box 428 Grand Valley Ontario L0N 1G0 (519) 928-3402
Sunday's @ 11 a.m. - Holy Eucharist and church school
The Reverend Stephanie Pellow,  Priest-In-Charge

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More about us

St Albanís is located in the community of East Luther-Grand Valley in the Village of Grand Valley, Ontario, Canada. We are about an hour and a half north west of Toronto and about half way between Orangeville to the east and Arthur to the west. The village itself has a population of about 1,900.

We are part of the Anglican Church in Canada, and we belong to the the Diocese of Niagara.  Although we are a small parish, our membership reflects the richness of the Christian church in all its varieties and we have members from various denominational backgrounds.

We also have a good mix of young and old, and a very active Sunday School for young children.  Are you missing something in your life?  Come and join us for worship on a Sunday.  Our regular service is at 11:00 a.m.

Everyone can attend, all are welcome!

This is what the inside of St. Alban's looks like.  The church holds 100 people comfortably.

What to expect:

The background:
St. Alban's is an Anglican Church and Anglicans use a fairly set form of service from a book.  The earliest prayer books in the Anglican Church date back to the middle of the sixteenth century in England.  Various revisions have taken place since then.  The most recent Canadian revision of this prayer book was published in 1962 and is called the Book of Common Prayer.   For more information on the Book of Common Prayer click here to go to the Book of Common Prayer page at the Anglicans Online site.

While The Book of Common Prayer is still in use, most Anglican churches in Canada have switched to the more recent Book of Alternative Services, which was published by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Canada in 1985.   The language in this book is more modern and similar language we all use in our day to day lives.  The Book of Alternative Services, like alternative service books used by other churches in the Anglican Communion, was only meant to be an and extension to the official Book of Common Prayer until a full revision of the Book of Common Prayer could be undertaken.  This has now happened in the U.K., but not in Canada.

 What to expect if you attend a service.

A typical Anglican service has three parts.

The first part of the service - Gathering
The first section focuses on gathering the community together.  We usually sing a hymn, and have an official greeting.  We also pray together that God will cleanse our hearts so that we might come to the service of worship and sacrament ready both physically and spiritually.

The second part of the service - Listening to the Word and offering our prayers
The second section of the service involves reading from the Bible.  The standard pattern is to have a reading from the Old Testament, a psalm, a reading from the New Testament, and a reading from the Gospel.   All Anglican churches follow a sequence of readings from the Bible known as the Revised Common Lectionary.  This common lectionary (lectionary means selection of readings) is used by many congregations in the the Roman Catholic Church, The Lutheran Church, The United Church, and The Presbyterian Church.  While there are slight differences, especially around denomination specific events such as the RCIA program, many other churches will be using the same readings as their neighbours each Sunday.

The second part of the service also contains an homily, or a sermon.  The word "homily" is used to refer to a short (7 to 12 minute) talk about how the readings for the day impact our lives as Christians.  It is meant to be thought provoking and informative.  It is not meant to be judgmental or condescending.  A sermon is a longer version of the same thing and in most Anglican churches this is about 12 to 20 minutes.  There was a time when preachers would preach for half an hour or forty five minutes at a time, but that is rare in our "sound bite" world. 

After we have heard God's word read to us, and then broken open for us in a sermon or homily, we enter a time of prayer.  We pray for God's help and thank God for the blessings we receive.  This part of the service often includes prayers for members of our community and others who have asked for our prayers. 

Then we say a general confession together to acknowledge that we do not always live up to our calling as Christians and that we need both God's forgiveness and God's guidance to reach our fullest potential.  

The third part of the service - Offering and Sacrament.
The third part of the service begins with an offering of our resources.  This includes both money to support the church and its work, and an offering of bread and wine.  

The third part of the service continues with the Eucharist.  The word "Eucharist" means thanksgiving and this part of the service is much like the Mass in a Catholic Church or communion in one of the Protestant Churches.  The priest who is the celebrant says prayer which reminds us of how God has created all that we know and has worked through the prophets and patriarchs to help us know him better.  The prayer also reminds us that the pivotal point of salvation history was when God sent Jesus Christ into the world.  Through the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross, he bought our salvation and freed us from the bondage of sin.  In the resurrection he opened a path to eternity.  The priest blesses the bread and wine in the course of the prayer, calling the presence of the Holy Spirit upon the elements of bread and wine so that they become the body and blood of Christ, just as Jesus promised his disciples at the last supper.

We then share in this common meal and receive the presence of Christ.  Anglicans receive both a piece of bead (either in a wafer or a real piece of bread) and take a sip from a cup of wine.  Many people prefer to dip the wafer or bread into the wine.  Others prefer to receive the wafer or piece of bread only.  If you need to avoid alcohol then receiving the bread only is a good option for you. 

There is a short prayer after communion, and the service usually ends with a hymn.   At the very end of the service the priest blesses the people present and charges them to go back into the world to live out their individual ministries.

This outline is simplified, yet if you are thinking about joining us we hope that this outline will help you feel more comfortable.  There are many responses that Anglicans make automatically.  They are in the book, but after years of practice many Anglicans no longer need the book to say the right thing at the right time.  Do not be put out if you do not remember all the responses right away.   If you are lost or not sure what to do, you can either ask someone, or just watch what everyone else is doing.  It will feel more familiar after a couple of Sunday's.

Coming to the altar
St. Alban's, like most Anglican churches, welcomes Christians from all denominations to the Lord's table to receive the body and blood of our Lord.

If you are not sure about receiving communion then please feel free to come forward for a blessing.  You can indicate that you do not wish to receive communion by folding your arms across your chest.

 


Last update on this page:  22 April, 2006