Trinity Episcopal Church, Milford, MA Sharing the Grace of God, the Light of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit,
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Is this your first time at Trinity?

Giraffe in Church

All of us are nervous the first time we do something new, because we're not sure what to expect. We want you to come to Trinity, and we want you to be comfortable, so we've put together this page to answer some of the questions first-timers have about Trinity.

We'll tell you how to find Trinity, where to park, where to enter the building, what kind of clothes people wear, where to sit, what's in the pews, where the bathrooms are, and where your kids might want to go. We'll also talk about the church service, receiving Holy Communion, and where to get coffee after the service. We'll also define some of the words Church people use when they talk (or write web pages.)

This page has many links on it, to help you with words that may be unfamiliar. Please feel free to click any link you see.

Where is Trinity?

We're in the center of Milford, at the corner of Exchange Street and Congress Street, about two blocks from the Post Office. Our directions page tells how to find us.

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Where can we park?

Parking can be difficult at Trinity — we're an old, downtown Church, built before the days of automobiles. You really have four choices. We have a small parking lot behind the Church. There is parking on Congress Street and Exchange Street. The Rockland Trust Company allows us to use their lot between Exchange and Park Streets (but please don't block their drive-through ATM). Finally, you can park in the Municipal lot on the other side of Exchange Street, behind Main Street. Note that Exchange Street is one way from the church towards Main Street. Our directions page has a map of the parking areas.

There are two handicapped parking spots near Trinity. One is on Congress Street, directly in front of the Church. The other is on Exchange Street, near the main entrance.

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Which door do we use?

Trinity has three entrances, and you may use any of them.

The main entrance, the red front door, enters directly into the back of the Church. There are two steps at the front door.

If you prefer to avoid the steps, use the side door, on the right side of the Church. The sidewalk slopes gently, and there are no steps. From here, a door enters the front of the Church.

The third entrance is the back door, from the rear parking lot. If you use this door, walk straight in; you'll see stairs in front of you. Go up the half flight, and the entrance to the Church is on your right.

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What do people wear?

We're not fussy about dress at Trinity. People generally dress neatly but comfortably for Church, in an open-collar shirt and slacks (for men) or in slacks or skirts and blouses (for women). Some men may wear a coat and tie, and some women a dress. The kids wear the same clothes they wear to school, or perhaps something a little more dressy, especially the girls who like to dress up. Some people do come in jeans or work clothes. We're a comfortable place: we won't judge you by what you wear.

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Where should we sit?

The short answer is "anywhere you want to." Trinity still has its original pews from the 1800s, with dividers in the middle. The pews in the center aisle are slightly longer than those on the side aisles. Feel free to use any pew you want to.

If you use a wheelchair, you may wish to use the space in front of the two center front pews, just a short distance from the side entrance to the Church.

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What are all these books?

As you enter the Church, the usher will give you a bulletin, containing the Order of Service.

As you sit down, you will see several books. Some are in a rack on the back of the pew in front of you, while others are at the end of the pew. Each pew has red Prayer Books, blue Hymnals and one Bible. The Prayer Book (red, with a gold cross on the cover) contains all of the services of the Episcopal Church. On Sunday, we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. At 8:00, we use Rite I, a traditional form of the service using "thee" and "thou" in prayers. At 10:00, we use Rite II, a more contemporary version of the service, with hymns sung by the choir and the people. The Order of Service you received from the usher will tell you the page numbers of the service in the Prayer Book.

The Hymnals contain the music and words for the hymns and service music we sing at the 10:00 service. The music is listed in the Order of Service, and the hymns are posted on a board on the right-side wall of the nave, illustrated at right. All of our music is found in the blue Hymnal 1982. Service music (the numbers starting with "S") is found in the first part of the Hymnal. The hymns (with no prefix letter) are found in the back two-thirds of the Hymnal.

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Where are the bathrooms?

At the right front of the nave, a door leads to the parish hall and two bathrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. The bathrooms are for either sex, with a lock on the main door.

Although both restrooms are handicap-accessible, we have a chair lift that goes upstairs.

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What about our children?

Children are an important part of our life at Trinity. They're welcome to stay with you in the Church, if you want, and to take full part in the service. For the youngest children, we have a year-round nursery staffed by parent volunteers. For children from about age four up, we have the WoRM Program (old-timers may call it "Sunday School") from September through May. Children are welcome to join classes as visitors at any time, or to enroll if you desire.

The nursery is in the downstairs of the Parish Hall. The WoRM Program starts at 9:45, and gathers in the large downstairs room in the Parish Hall. After the gathering, the classes move to other rooms, depending on the child's school grade. The coordinator or any of the teachers will help you find where your child should go. The WoRM Program ends at 10:30, and your children will join you in the Church at that point.

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What happens during the service?

The 10:00 service of Holy Eucharist begins with an entrance hymn. The priest greets the people, and we ask God to open our hearts today.

We listen to four readings from the Bible. Usually, we hear a reading from the Old Testament, we sing one of the Psalms, we hear a reading from one of the New Testament Epistles, and finally we hear a reading from one of the Gospels. The priest preaches a sermon based on the readings we've heard, and we proclaim our faith in the words of the Nicene Creed.

We pray together for the world, the church, our families and our friends, and give thanks for what God has given us. Then, we ask God's forgiveness for our sins, present our offerings at the altar, and greet each other with the Peace of the Lord. At this point, the children in the WoRM Program rejoin their parents in the Church.

After the Offertory, the children are invited to join the priest at the altar while the the priest says the Prayer of Consecration over the gifts. The Prayer of Consecration always closes with the Lord's Prayer.

The priest and those at the altar receive Communion, both bread and wine, and then the congregation comes to the altar rail to receive Communion, again both bread and wine. Finally, after a prayer of thanksgiving and a closing hymn, the priest dismisses the congregation, and we leave the nave. Many of us gather in the parish hall for fellowship; others leave directly for home or their other activities of the day.

The 8:00 service is structured very similarly, but the Psalm is spoken and no hymns are sung.

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Can I go to Communion?

Holy Communion is a celebration of the Lord's Supper. All are welcome to the table who come in faith and reverence. If you have not been baptized we invite you, after the service, to speak to the priest about the new work of faith begun in you and about the process of being baptized into the community of Christ's disciples and living out your faith. Even children receive: you will see many young members approach the rail. (The Episcopal Church does not require a First Communion at a specific age.) Most people receive both the bread and the wine, although some prefer to receive the bread only. Your Communion is complete whether you receive one or both of the elements.

It's customary at Trinity is to receive Communion kneeling at the altar rail. If you hold your hands out, the priest will place the bread in your hands. You may eat it immediately, or wait for the wine and dip the bread into it. If you've eaten the bread, you may sip the wine from the cup. If you or your child wants to receive a blessing instead of the bread or wine, just touch the cup with your hands, or cross your arms over your chest.

Some people who have difficulty kneeling stand up to receive. If you have a physical disability that prevents you from approaching the rail, speak to an usher, and the priest will take Communion to you in your seat.

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What happens after the service?

After each Sunday service, we gather for fellowship upstairs in the Parish Hall. Usually, we have coffee, tea, juice for the kids, and perhaps something to eat. It gives us a chance to see friends, talk with parish leaders, and just reconnect. Please join us!

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