Quite some time ago, a friend asked me what the differences were between a Roman Catholic and Episcopal service. After explaining, she mentioned that she thought that would be an interesting FAQ answer to add. After recently acquiring a Lutheran Book of Worship, I decided to include the LBW Eucharist service in the comparison, too. In the Episcopal Church, the service may include traditional language (Rite 1) or modern (Rite 2, used more commonly).
Episcopal Optional Penitential Order-Hymn; Greeting; optional Decalogue; words of assurance from Scripture; general Confession & absolution; continues with Gloria/Kyries/Trisagion. When no penitential order is used-hymn; greeting; Gloria, Kyries, or Trisagion (in Rite I, the Kyrie is always used before the Gloria or Trisagion). Alternate hymns may be used. Collect of the Day.
Catholic The blessing & sprinkling of holy water may take place instead of the Penitential Order. Otherwise-Song or Antiphon; Greeting; Confession & absolution; Kyrie and Gloria (Gloria used outside of Advent & Lent). Opening Prayer.
Lutheran Brief order for Confession & Forgiveness may be used-Invocation; Confession; Declaration of Forgiveness. Otherwise-Hymn; Greeting; Kyrie; Gloria in Excelsis, This is the Feast, or other appropriate hymn; Prayer of the Day.
Liturgy of the Word
Episcopal Old Testament & Epistle readings, each may be followed by a Psalm, hymn or anthem; the Gospel; the Sermon; Nicene Creed; Prayers of the People; Confession of Sin (if not said earlier); the Peace (this may instead take place at the administration of communion).
Catholic First Reading; Responsorial Psalm; Second Reading; Alleluia/Gospel Acclaimation; Gospel; Homily; Nicene Creed; Prayer of the Faithful
Lutheran First Lesson; Psalm; Verse; Gospel; Sermon; Hymn; Nicene or Apostles’ Creed; Prayers; the Peace (this may alternately be said after the Lord’s Prayer).
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Episcopal Offertory; Great Thanksgiving; Sanctus & Benedictus (Benedictus is optional in Rite I); Eucharistic Prayer; The Lord’s Prayer; The Breaking of the Bread; optional Fraction Anthem(s); Rite I-Prayer of Humble Access; optional Invitation; distribution of communion; Post-Communion Prayer; Blessing; optional recessional hymn; Dismissal
Catholic Preparation of the Altar & Gifts; Prayer Over the Gifts; Great Thanksgiving; Sanctus & Benedictus; Eucharistic Prayer; Lord’s Prayer; the Peace; Breaking of the Bread & Agnus Dei (Lamb of God); Invitation; Communion Song; Prayer After Communion; Blessing & Dismissal
Lutheran Offertory; Great Thanksgiving; Sanctus & Benedictus; Eucharistic Prayer; Lord’s Prayer; Communion; Post-Communion Hymn; Post-Communion Prayer; Blessing & Dismissal