Posted by: AJtheIrishLass | June 1, 2014

Acclamation: The Call to Worship

An Episcopal Church

An Episcopal Church

If you’ve ever attended services at Catholic, Lutheran or some Protestant churches, you’ve probably noticed that the priest or pastor presiding opens with a greeting that the congregation responds to. We do that in the Episcopal church as well. It’s called an acclamation, although some groups prefer to refer to it as a call to worship.

The usual acclamation is:

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
        And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever.

In keeping with the festive nature of the season, the Easter acclamation is:

Celebrant     Alleluia. Christ is risen.
         The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

During Lent, because of the more penitential nature of the occasion, the acclamation is in the following form:

Celebrant     Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;
People         His mercy endures for ever.

In short, it’s not only a call to worship, but also a call to reflect on God’s greatness. When the service opens and closes with praise, it keeps us more focused on what we do during the service and in the larger world.


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