Visit to St. Paul's Episcopal
Part of a series about My Faith Journey.
On April 2nd, 2017 I visited St. Paul's Episcopal church in downtown Salt Lake City. I had heard that the Episcopalian church features a more "liberal theology" compared to other Christian churches, so I wanted to give it a shot.
The building was beautiful, both outside and in: lovely tile on the floor, very nice carpet, and dark wood pews & rafters that felt very much like being in England.
The average age of attendees was a bit on the old side, with lots of grey hair in the congregation. There were a few young folks too, including some teens who held the candles & cross that were marched down the center aisle.
The whole service was very scripted with a (well laid-out) 12-page program that we followed to the letter, right down to the hymns that were sung, the prayers that were said, the recitation of the Nicene creed, and various other chants & blessings. The only thing that wasn't scripted was the Homily given by a young-ish looking Reverend. The musical numbers performed by the choir were amazing: some had organ accompaniment, some were acapella, and others were vocals with bassoon accompaniment (my favorite).
The whole service had a very early Protestant feel to it; I could still see the shadow of the Catholic church with the use of terms such as "parish" and "Eucharist", and a lot of pomp and circumstance in the attire & proceedings.
The entire service weighed in at an hour and a half and culminated with the partaking of the Eucharist, which people could come and take if they wanted to. Since I was a visitor, I just stayed in my seat. I did, however, eat some of the hospitality provided afterward in the eating area (fruits & veggies & baked goods).
All in all it was a lovely service, but a little too formal & scripted for my tastes right now. Still, nice to get a sample of what it was like.