How We Worship
We follow the ancient liturgy of the church We chant the Kyrie, the Psalm and during Advent, Lent and Holy Week, the Gospel is also chanted. There’s also incense, readings from scripture, a sermon, prayers of the people, Eucharist, and a closing blessing (benediction). You’ll also see some of us making the sign of the cross and bowing during the Eucharist.
Most of our music is a cappella. The music is made by the community — with the exception of the 3 or 4 times a year that we have a bluegrass service, the liturgy is a capella. So, all the music you hear in liturgy comes from the bodies of those who showed up. We sing in four-part harmony and rehearse before liturgy at what we call Choral Guild (open to anyone who shows up at 4:20 before church). We sing this way because we’ve discovered that we can’t sing harmony alone. We need each other. We also sing the old hymns of the church. So there’s lots of ancient tradition at HFASS, but there’s also some innovation.
Open Space We always include poetry and a time called “Open Space” in which we slow down for prayer and other opportunities to actively engage the Gospel; writing in the community’s Book of Thanks, writing prayers, making art or assembling care kits for those experiencing homelessness in Denver.
We like to say that we are “anti-excellence/pro-participation” This means that we care more about people being involved than with everything looking perfect. You’ll find that it’s easy to find ways to take leadership roles in the liturgy from the moment you step through the door.
We sit in the round When you show up to liturgy, you’ll notice that we set up chairs in circles around the altar. The Table is the center of our community because Jesus has promised to show up for us in the bread and wine. But we also worship this way so that we can see each other, because we are all icons of Christ and when we see each other, we are gazing into the face of our Lord.
We make the liturgy ourselves Though we follow the ancient liturgy, there are seasonal prayers in contemporary language, often written by the congregation. Several times a year, we hold what we call Liturgy Guild where we decide together some of the elements of the liturgies of the upcoming season. Liturgy Guild is open to everyone in the community. Just show up! Also, when you show up on Sundays, we might ask you if you’d like a “job.” All that means is we are asking if you’d like to help lead the liturgy by reading a prayer, part of scripture or helping serve at Communion.