Worship & Music

What Does Sunday Morning Look Like?


Music at St. Giles

From ancient plainsong to Taize chant, from the richest hymnody of the Anglican and Protestant traditions to Shaker tunes, spirituals, songs from other cultures, and 21st century church music, we sing it all! Several times throughout the year our choir is featured in special services, such as Lessons and Carols in December and Choral Evensong. For more information on our music program, please contact Director of Music Jim Brown at music@saint-giles.org.    



May 2 – Laudate Dominum (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Linda Jariabka, soprano

May 9 – Ave Maria (Jehan Alain)
Anne-Marie Williams, soprano

May 16 – O rest in the Lord, from “Elijah” (Felix Mendelssohn)
Val Beck, alto

May 23 – Then shall the righteous shine forth, from “Elijah” (Felix Mendelssohn)
Nathan Oakes, tenor


‚ÄčHellmuth Wolff Organ

For information about our wonderful Hellmuth Wolff organ, click here.

Courtesy of Pipe Organs of Chicago Volume One authored by Stephen Schnurr and Dennis Northway, copyright 2005


About Worship in The Episcopal Church

Origins: Worship in the Episcopal Church has its roots in the earliest Christian communities; it is both comprehensive and traditional. Through the centuries our language of worship has changed and expanded, but the structure remains much the same: we seek to offer our praise and thanks to God, to lift up to God our prayers of intercession and thanksgiving, to hear what God may be saying to us through scripture and proclamation, and to celebrate Christ’s presence through the Holy Spirit in the celebration of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. Our primary worship source in the Episcopal Church is The Book of Common Prayer – “common” not because it is ordinary, but because it was created to be accessible and used by all.

Participation in Worship: We refer to our worship as liturgy, from two Greek words meaning “the people's public work”. Everyone present participates, and all are welcome. We begin by showing up! Those who would like to take a leadership role in the liturgy may serve as lectors (readers of scripture lessons), intercessors (prayer leaders), acolytes (those who carry items in procession, light candles, help at the altar/table, etc.), and chalice administrators (helping to distribute communion). Ushers and greeters help welcome worshippers. Those who like to sing may join the choir (see more on “Music at St. Giles”, above). While some specific portions of the liturgy are reserved to the clergy, there can be no worship without a congregation and the participation of the people.

Ritual: Our worship services follow a specific pattern that originated in the early Church (as mentioned above), thus some elements are the same from week to week or season to season. But variety and richness abound! There is tremendous breadth in the choices we have in worship, from language reminiscent of the original book compiled in 1549 during the reign of England’s King Edward VI, to prayers and worship offered in contemporary language and images. Our hymnody (the songs we sing in church) is similarly diverse in musical style, language, and imagery.

Theology: Our theology (what we believe about God) is formed by our prayer. In fact a phrase you may hear in the Episcopal Church is lex orandi, lex credendi – “the law of prayer is the law of belief”. In other words, we understand who God is, we grow in relationship with Jesus Christ, and we experience the presence of the Holy Spirit by praying and worshipping together. We do not ask for adherence to a doctrinal statement or confession; we do embrace the Church’s basic statement of corporate faith as found in the Nicene Creed, which has guided Christian faith for nearly 17 centuries. We bring our faith to our worship, but we also bring questions, doubts, grief, and celebration.




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  June 2021  
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