The Episcopal Church Welcomes You
A Blending of Protestant and Catholic Traditions
The Episcopal Church is a “branch” of the Church of England, and became an independent church after the American Revolution. Along with the Church of England and all of its other “branch” churches worldwide, we form the Anglican Communion, with over seventy million members, the third largest group of Christians worldwide (after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches).
The Episcopal Church is neither truly Protestant nor Catholic; rather it is a blending of both traditions. We trace our history back to the Protestant Reformation and share many of the beliefs of modern day Protestants. Yet, unlike many Protestant churches, we are a church of bishops (“Episcopal” derives from the Greek word “Episkopos” meaning “bishop”) and we retained most of the elements of the ceremony and worship of the Roman Catholic Church: our worship is centered on the celebration of the Eucharist (Communion) every Sunday, we use wine (not grape juice), we offer the Sacraments, and our clergy wear vestments/robes. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church our clergy (bishops, priests, and deacons) are allowed to marry; we ordain both men and women to all orders of clergy; communion is open to all Christians regardless of tradition; and our church is governed democratically.
(Pictured: The National Cathedral in Washington DC. / Content attributed to St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Hebron, Ct.)