General Questions About St. John's

Which St. John are you named after, John the Baptist or John the Apostle?

St. John the Apostle


What is Holy Eucharist?

The word Eucharist equates with Holy Communion. Communion, the bread and wine, is one of two major Sacraments given to us by Christ himself (the other being Baptism).


What is the Book of Common Prayer?

The Church of England was established in the American colonies in 1607. The Episcopal Church separated itself, somewhat, from the Church of England in 1789, which was probably the motivation to publish its own Book of Common Prayer (BCP). The BCP in America thus dates back to a version published in America in 1790 by the Episcopal Church, modeled very closely after the English BCP. The origins of the BCP in England are very old; it was first created in 1549 under the reign of Edward VI, associated with the English Reformation which resulted from the break with Rome. The BCP in the U.S. was revised in 1892, 1928, and 1979.

There are many Prayer books in use by the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). When the ACNA launched in 2009, it was decided that any Prayer book in use by one of the member churches could remain in use. The 1979 BCP contains both traditional (Rite 1) and contemporary (Rite II) forms of worship and both are used in the Anglican Church.

Since its 16th century origins, the BCP has been a guide to worship and remains so today. Our various forms of worship directly utilize the BCP itself; it also covers such occasions or sacraments as Holy Matrimony, burial ceremonies, etc. Traditional Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian prayer books have borrowed from the BCP.

Our worship at St. John's Anglican Church in Orinda is based on the 2013 Texts for Common Prayer, adapted from Thomas Cranmer's 1549 Book of Common Prayer by the ACNA. We provide a printed service booklet with the complete liturgy.


Who Can Take Communion With Us?

We practice what is sometimes called "open Communion". Anyone baptised in any Christian denomination is welcome to take Communion. If you are interested in becoming baptised, we encourage you to speak to the worship leader after the service. If you are not baptised, you are still welcome to come up at communion for a blessing. When you kneel at the rail, simply cross your arms over your chest so that your hands are on your shoulders.


What Is Required to Join St. John's Anglican Church?

We have no formal requirements for joining the Anglican Church at this time. We are a friendly and loving community and we hope you will feel comfortable among us, and become more knowledgable about, and embrace the Anglican faith. We simply encourage you to worship with us on a regular basis as the Spirit moves you, and your schedule allows. We also recommend that you register on this website and at This puts you into our accounting system so that you will receive quarterly statements on any donations you make, except cash (we of course welcome donations of cash, but cannot determine who puts what cash into the plate each Sunday). It will also put you on a mailing list for a regular newsletter from our parent Diocese, and eNews from our sponsoring parish, St. James Anglican Church in San Jose. If one has never been baptized as a Christian, he/she may not receive Communion, and we do recommend baptism at some point. We offer arrangements for baptism for those who request it. We also recommend that as you begin to attend worship with us, you familiarize yourself with the beliefs and doctrines of the Anglican faith. There are several links in this website that will lead you to relevant information. You may also want to read the Historical Documents of the Church which begin at page 864 in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, and an Outline of the Faith which is found beginning on page 845 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.


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