Worship is a central part of the formation for Berkeley students, both in Episcopal and ecumenical contexts. The expectation is that students will participate daily in worship, with the Book of Common Prayer as their “mother tongue,” and the ecumenical worship of Yale Divinity School as their “second language.” With 70% of Episcopalians now coming from other denominations, this broad liturgical formation is ideally suited to ministry in today’s congregations. Moreover, Berkeley’s services also incorporate a weekly Lutheran Vespers and frequent joint celebrations of the Eucharist with students in the Lutheran and Methodist Studies Programs as a sign of the relationships that exist between the three churches.
The Daily Office is said each week day in St. Luke’s Chapel in the Berkeley Center, together with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The services are not only the backbone of the students’ spiritual formation, but also serve as a teaching tool for liturgical celebration. Students are actively involved with their peers in all aspects of worship, from preparing the services to leading the worship and preaching. As an active center of the Community of the Cross of Nails at Coventry Cathedral, BDS prays the Litany of Reconciliation each Friday morning in chapel.
Each week there is a Community Eucharist on Wednesday evenings, held in Marquand Chapel, often with visiting celebrants and preachers. The service is followed by a time of fellowship and hospitality at the Berkeley Center, including suppers and town meetings where the entire community meets to discuss issues both within the community and in the wider church.
Yale Divinity School services are held each weekday morning in Marquand Chapel, and express a wide variety of Christian traditions with a special emphasis on creative adaptations of many liturgical expressions. On Friday mornings, the entire YDS community gathers for Holy Communion.