About the Episcopal Church

San Jose is a traditional Episcopal Church focused on the Holy Eucharist and on the best of the Anglican tradition, which welcomes all people and embraces many points of view. Our commitment is to work, worship, and minister in the service of our Lord; and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we intend to live prayerfully and joyfully in each other’s company.

We welcome everyone who wants to join us on any portion of this holy pilgrimage. Above all, know that we are blessed to have you worship with us.

How We Worship

Upon entering our church, you will be greeted by an usher who hands you a bulletin. You may take a seat anywhere you like. We use two main books at our main services – the red Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal 1982, which is either blue or red. The scripture readings are found in your bulletin. 

All baptized people are invited to receive communion. You may stand or kneel during those parts of the service that specify standing or kneeling. If you do not wish to receive the bread or wine, but still want a blessing, just cross your arms over your chest at the altar rail to receive a blessing.

Why San Jose?

If you ask our parishioners, they will tell you that San Jose is special for one main reason – its people. The San Jose experience embodies the scripture "where two or three are gathered in His name, there I am in the midst of them." We are a faithful community who see Christ in each other and in the world around us. Through worship, work, and play, we truly enjoy each other's company and give and receive unconditional support.

Worship in the Episcopal Church

We are a liturgical church. During worship, people participate through their verbal responses, readings from Holy Scripture, singing of hymns, offering prayers, and by receiving Holy Communion. Worship is corporate in nature because the congregation shares in all aspects of the liturgy. The silence at various intervals provides time for the individual to think and reflect on his or her personal experience with God.

Practices vary, even among individual Episcopalians, as to when it is appropriate to sit, to stand, or to kneel. Watch the people sitting around you for clues and do whatever feels comfortable. The general rule is to stand to sing. Hymns are found in the blue or red 1982 Hymnal in the pews, and other service music is printed in the worship bulletin. 

We stand to say our affirmation of faith, the Nicene Creed, and for the reading of the Gospel. Psalms are sung or said, while sitting or standing. We sit during readings from the Old Testament or New Testament, the sermon, and the choir anthems.  We stand or kneel for prayer. Some Episcopalians make the sign of the cross or bow at particular times and kneel for prayer upon entering the nave. Silence is usually kept before services.

The Book of Common Prayer

Words to our liturgy are found in The Book of Common Prayer (BCP). You will find both prayers for daily use and prayers for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

The Book of Common Prayer has evolved over the years. The first Prayer Book is attributed to Thomas Cranmer, who, in 1549, drew on traditional resources to create services that were prayed in English for the first time. This collection of both prayers and responses provides the basic structure for the current Prayer Book being used in the Episcopal Church. The version we use today was last revised in 1979.