St. Margaret’s is located in Palm Desert, California, a resort and retirement community. Our membership reflects the diversity of the larger Coachella Valley, including the relatively large seasonal population and members who have moved to the area after having been well established in another community and another congregation. What constitutes “normal church” varies substantially from one member to the next, and facile categories such as “high church” and “low church”, “traditional” and “contemporary”, “conservative” and “progressive”, “formal” and “casual” are difficult to apply in meaningful ways.
In the face of that diversity, St. Margaret’s strives to offer worship that is coherent but not plodding, edifying but not polemical, beautiful but not precious, and holy but not inaccessible. We are blessed with a large congregation and generous physical and financial resources. We have the capacity and the responsibility to respond faithfully to a variety of approaches to worship. Not every worship offering will be of value to every member.
Sundays at 8 a.m. we offer Holy Eucharist, Rite One in the Chancel. The congregation has an order of service in outline form, referencing pages in the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal 1982. An organist plays a prelude and postlude, a sequence hymn before the Gospel reading, and music at the Offertory and during Communion. There is no choir. Liturgical ministers include a Celebrant and Preacher (sometimes the same person), a Deacon, two lectors (one of whom also leads the Nicene Creed and Prayers of the People), and two Eucharistic Ministers who administer the Chalice. The Celebrant, Preacher, Deacon, and Eucharistic Ministers enter from the Vesting Sacristy. Copes and dalmatics are not worn, and normal vesting guidelines apply.
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