A Spiritual Home of Catholic Worship and Liturgical Music
The Church of the Good Shepherd is the third oldest Episcopal Church in the city of Columbia and is the principal Anglo-Catholic parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina. It is a spiritual home for people from all walks of life who gather under one roof to celebrate the catholic faith in the Anglican tradition.
The Reverend Doctor James Fraser Lyon IV, Rector.
A Message From The Rector
Welcome to the Church of the Good Shepherd. I'm glad you found us, and I would like to invite you to join us for worship. It is through our prayers, and through the Eucharistic feast, that we bear witness to the mystery of the Incarnation and to Jesus' redemption of the world through His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. It is in the Incarnate Son of God that we see the enfleshment of Divine love for the world, and it is our prayer that we be made worthy of the gift of salvation promised to all who believe and follow in the way of Jesus.
We are a Catholic parish of the Episcopal Church, founded in response to the call of the Oxford Movement for a renewal of catholicity in the Anglican expression of the Christian Church. At the center of our parish life is Sunday Mass, which is celebrated at 8 a.m. (Low Mass) and 10:30 a.m. (High Mass). The 8 a.m. Low Mass is celebrated using Rite I from the Book of Common Prayer (1979). The 10:30 a.m. High Mass is celebrated using Rite I in Lent and Rite II (Eucharistic Prayers A, B, and D) during the rest of the year. The Good Shepherd Choir provides leadership and support to the 10:30 High Mass by singing a substantial portion of the liturgy. We offer Christian education classes for all ages as well as the Rosary between the Masses.
You don't have to be a member of the Episcopal Church to participate in worship at Good Shepherd. We invite everyone who enters our doors to come forward to the altar at the time of communion to receive a blessing. The reception of Holy Communion is for those who are baptized, and if you would like to be initiated into the Christian community through baptism, or to explore the Christian faith at any level, please don't hesitate to speak to me.
At Good Shepherd we are delighted to meet and welcome newcomers and visitors, but we promise not to overwhelm you. Our ushers will give you an ordo, and they will be happy to answer any questions you have. For that matter, so will our parishioners. Please select a pew and take time to say your prayers before studying the ordo, which contains the order of the Mass and refers to two books located in the pew rack. The red book is the Book of Common Prayer, and the blue book is the hymnal; both are used during the 10:30 Mass.
At the end of the Mass, the lay servers and I will greet people at the foot of the front steps. We also welcome you to join us in the parish hall after the 8 and 10:30 Masses for coffee and refreshments. Coffee hour provides an opportunity to meet people, and our parishioners are always happy to greet newcomers.
Beyond the Mass, Good Shepherd offers fellowship groups for young adults, middle-aged parishioners and those who are retired. We have the Daughters of the King, the Episcopal Church Women, Saint Brigid's Guild of the ECW and a vibrant mission program to families in need in Appalachia. You'll find some of our upcoming activities on our website, but the best way to find out what's going on is to come to church on Sunday morning.
As an urban parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, we draw worshipers from throughout the Columbia metropolitan area. Our proximity to the campus of the University of South Carolina has blessed us with visiting students, choral scholars, faculty and staff. In our parish you will find people of all ages and all walks of life who hold in common a love for engaging the mystery of God through the historic Catholic faith and practice of the Church.
We have a great treasure here on Blanding Street, and I invite you to come and see what makes this place so very special.
Father Lyon †
In Celebration of Father Lyon's ministry
During the course of our 130-year history, The Church of the Good Shepherd has been blessed with a number of long-serving rectors, notably the Reverend Mr. Lewis Nathaniel Taylor, of blessed memory, who served the parish faithfully for more than 22 years, from March 1, 1925, until his death on December 2, 1947. He was a blessing to Good Shepherd and to the greater Columbia community, and his status as our longest-serving rector endured for more than six decades.
But a change was set in motion on July 1, 1991, when our parish called the Reverend Doctor James Fraser Lyon IV to become our 13th rector, and on April 4 of this year, Father Lyon became our longest-serving rector. During these nearly 23 years, Father Lyon, like the Rev. Mr. Taylor, has faithfully served God and our parish, and has become beloved not only by our parish, but by the broader Columbia community.
It is a resounding testament to Father Lyon that for more than two decades he has been able to faithfully serve as the parish's own good shepherd, the icon of Christ to all parishioners, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, young or old, in such turbulent and polarizing times for the church and for society at large.
In honor and celebration of the service that Father Lyon and Sallie have given and continue to give to our parish, The Church of the Good Shepherd held a Thanksgiving Eucharist on the evening of Friday, May 14, with the Right Reverend Charles Duvall as celebrant and homilist.
During a reception following the Mass, Senior Warden Robert Clawson presented Father Lyon with framed copies of S.1134, a Concurrent Resolution introduced by S.C. Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson and adopted this spring by the South Carolina General Assembly, honoring Father Lyon's service. You can read the resolution here.
The celebration coincided with the thirtieth anniversary of Father Lyon's ordination to the priesthood, and we all join Bishop Duvall in looking forward to coming together again to celebrate Father Lyon's thirty-fifth anniversary.