PUBLIC WORSHIP EXPRESSIONS

Across the community of churches affiliated with the CEEC there is a variety of public worship expressions referred to as "rites." The CEEC defines the rites as four unique expressions of public worship

The Rites

The worship of the One Church is liturgical; that is, it is the “work of the people.” It involves the participation of all the people, as opposed to spectator worship or "worship as theater."

The rite is not the liturgy; it is a written version or variation of the ancient, apostolic pattern of worship. The rite is a guide and teacher. The liturgy, always conforming to the apostolic shape, is free, open, participatory, and Spirit-filled. It is a holistic expression involving the spirit, the soul, and the body.

This Communion’s approach to liturgy is not based on legislative but rather on normative practice as shaped by the Scriptures and by the historic, apostolic and orthodox example. The worship of the CEEC is characterized by both liturgy and liberty.

+ Rite 1

The “low church” dominant paradigm; mostly Protestant in its imagination. Attendance of a Sunday morning worship service feels very much like going to some iteration of the Charismatic-Pentecostal experience. Rite I “nods” to the ancient church as a legitimate voice, but mostly in its celebration of weekly Eucharist, though a “full liturgy” is unlikely. There may be little public engagement with the creeds, adherence to the church calendar and lectionary, and certainly no vestments.

+ Rite II

These communities are mostly Protestant in their imagination, but leans more heavily into the liturgy, is very much engaged with the church calendar, follows the Lectionary, and confesses the creeds. These communities begin to establish an arc to their liturgy. The preaching and worship are still highly valued, but the high-water mark of the gathering is participating in the Eucharist.

+ Rite IV

Rite IV: this is the quintessential “high church” paradigm. These services are fully vested, engage in the liturgy from beginning to end, and embrace the sacraments in a way that is fully in-step with the Anglican or Anglo-Roman tradition. Rite IV communities are fully sacramental, practice homilies instead of “sermons,” and have little if any spontaneous expression.

+ Rite III

Rite III communities embrace and value the Evangelical and Charismatic emphasis on Word and Spirit, but does so governed by the liturgy. Rather than incorporating the liturgy into Pent-ismatic context, Rite III communities intentionally and creatively incorporate “low church” elements into the historically-established liturgy. Rite III communities are also formed with a sacramental imagination as opposed to a Protestant imagination.