Notable Episcopalian Robin Williams used to say the Episcopal Church was Catholic Lite: “same religion, half the guilt.” If you come to an Episcopal service you’ll find that it looks a lot like a Catholic service. The priest and acolytes wear robes, there are candles and an altar table. The basic service structure is also the same: enter with song, hear scripture (old testament, new testament, psalm, and a gospel), listen to a sermon, pass the peace, take communion, leave with a song.
However when it comes to theology and doctrine, the Episcopal Church often has more in common with protestants. In this way we occupy a strange place in between the two – neither one nor the other. It’s one of the reasons we find ourselves such a common resting place for self-described “recovering Catholics,” especially openly gay and transgender ones. In fact we’re a common resting place for a lot of people burned by religion, with the majority of our members joining the church as adults.