St. Andrew's is a welcoming congregation serving the communities of Central Massachusetts. Our services are open to all who wish to attend. In accordance with the Canons of the Episcopal Church, every baptized Christian may receive Holy Communion in this church.
In the Episcopal Church, we use the term "Eucharist" to mean the entire worship service, of which Holy Communion is one part. We believe that the Eucharist is the sacrament of thanksgiving given by Christ for the continual remembrance of His life, death, and resurrection.
Sundays at 9:30 a.m. - Celebration of the Holy Eucharist
The Sunday Celebration of Holy Eucharist is held in the church and is a service with familiar hymns. Thoughtful preaching, beautiful music, and the poetic prayers for which the Episcopal Church is known are all elements of this service.
For three Sundays each month we use the Rite II order of worship found in the Book of Common Prayer (1979) which features contemporary and inclusive language. Every 6 to 8 weeks there will be an intergenerational service with a children's sermon. Children and teens serve as worship leaders and participants.
Once a month the Rite I order of worship, also found in the Book of Common Prayer (1979), is used. This order of worship is more traditional .
Each Sunday, before the service begins, an organ prelude, joined occasionally by other musicians, allows time for prayer and meditation. Hymns are accompanied by the organ and choir. The service generally lasts about 1¼ hours.
Services are still available virtually via Facebook Live if you prefer to stay home, but we would love to see you in-person.
For in-person worship, here are some things to know when you come to church:
Masks are REQUIRED inside full-time for all in-person gatherings.
Seating - all pews are open, and you are encouraged to keep 6ft distance between family groups. Families with small children are encouraged to sit in the open area near the baptismal font.
Communion - will be offered in one kind only. Come forward to receive communion or a blessing at the altar rail.
The Peace - continue to greet others without shaking hands.
The Offering - We will continue to put an offering basket in the church, however online electronic giving is strongly encouraged as it is just a more streamlined way for us to receive and track giving.
The Dismissal - If you need to leave during the Postlude, please do so quietly without talking as our Livestream recording includes the Postlude. After the Postlude, please don't gather and talk in the aisles of the church, but rather gather outside for conversation.
A Note About Livestreaming - As a reminder, we continue to provide our Sunday service by Livestream. This means we are recording the service to broadcast it to Facebook Live. There is a small chance you could be included on camera at some point during the service.
If you get a late start to your Sunday morning, come along anyway. We'd rather have you late than not at all!
Please join us for coffee and conversation after the service followed by an opportunity for regular adult formation
For more information about our children and adult formation programs, visit our Education pages.
For those members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, are unable to be present in Church and wish to receive Holy Communion, St. Andrew's offers specially trained lay ministers (Eucharistic Visitors) who are available to bring the Consecrated Elements directly from the Church to a hospital, nursing home, or private residence.
To arrange for a Eucharistic Visitor, please contact the Rev. Joyce Scherer-Hoock.
Below is a list of other services that are available from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.
Episcopalians believe that Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as His children and makes us members of Christ's Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God. The Episcopal Church recognizes and offers both infant and adult Baptism.
Please contact the Rev. Joyce Scherer-Hoock for additional information about Holy Baptism.
Confirmation is the rite in which a baptized person expresses a mature commitment to Christ, and receives strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.
St. Andrew's offers Confirmation/Inquirer's Classes for those baptized at an early age who are ready to make a public affirmation of their faith, for those who are considering joining the Episcopal Church, for those who are returning to the Episcopal Church, and for those who would like to deepen their faith and learn more about their Episcopal heritage.
In recent years within the Diocese of Massachusetts, the Service of Confirmation takes place on a Deanery basis (a deanery is a geographical subdivision of a diocese), generally in the late spring. Confirmation classes at St. Andrew's begin in late winter or early spring.
Individual instruction and spiritual guidance are also available to those who wish them, at any time.
Please contact the Rev. Joyce Scherer-Hoock for additional information about Confirmation.
In the Episcopal Church, Holy Matrimony is understood to be a physical and spiritual union entered into within the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind, and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.
We welcome those who wish to be married at St. Andrew's . We do require two month's notice prior to a wedding. At least one of the parties must be a baptized Christian and premarital counseling is required by the Canons of the Episcopal Church. In the case of a divorced person who wishes to remarry, permission from the Bishop is required. Under no circumstances should any announcement of a wedding at St. Andrew's be made until the couple has had an interview with the priest and has received the priest's consent to officiate.
Click here to read the Lessons appointed for use at the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage in the Episcopal Church.
Click here to read about the fees for Weddings and Celebrations at St. Andrew's.
Please contact the Rev. Joyce Scherer-Hoock for additional information about Weddings and other Celebrations.
Funerals held at St. Andrew's are for members and former members of the parish, and their families, in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer burial ceremonies. Our clergy and staff are available for consultation and pastoral care in times of need.
Click here to read the Lessons appointed for use at the Burial of the Dead in the Episcopal Church.
Click here for a list of hymns especially appropriate for use at Funerals and Memorial Services.
Click here to read about the fees for Funerals and Memorial Services at St. Andrew's.
Please contact the Rev. Joyce Scherer-Hoock for additional information about Funerals and Memorial Services.
7 Faulkner Street
Ayer, Massachusetts 01432
St. Andrew's Church
PO Box 298
Ayer, MA 01432
St. Andrew's is handicap accessible. We also have large print bibles and Book of Common Prayer available upon request
St. Andrew's is a proud sponsor of Cub Scout Pack 32. Contact them at ObscureBSA for more information.