Is this your first time at Trinity? 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.
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.
Although both restrooms are handicap-accessible, we have a chair lift that goes upstairs.
The nursery is in the downstairs of the Parish Hall (not staffed). The Children’s Education 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 Christian Education Program ends at 10:30, and your children will join you in the Church at that point.
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 Christian Education 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.
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.