First Time Visitor
Let us worship...together.
At Trinity, we worship every Sunday at 8:00 am, 10:30 am, and 12:30 pm.
While sometimes it can feel intimidating to enter an unfamiliar church, at Trinity know that you are our respected and welcome guest, and we hope you will feel comfortable. Please ask our friendly greeters at the door if you have any questions.
We hope that the information below will give you a better understanding of the way we worship and help you feel more at home when you join us.
As you enter the church, you will notice an atmosphere of quiet reverence in the few minutes prior to the beginning of worship. Most of our worshippers cherish that quiet moment to make a transition from the world outside into the spirit of God’s house. The architecture of Trinity carries your eye to the altar and then to the cross, taking our thoughts at once to Christ whom we hope to encounter, and to God, whose house this is.
On and alongside the altar are candles to remind us that Christ is the "Light of the world." [John 8:11]
Except during the penitential season of Lent, flowers at the altar beautify God’s house and recall the resurrection of Jesus.
The Act of Worship
Episcopal worship services are congregational. In the pews, you will find the Book of Common Prayer and a hymnal. The service bulletin will be your guide to the service.
The Prayer Book
All worship at Trinity is drawn from The 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Sometimes, people wonder at the wisdom of this approach—it seems like rote repetition to them. Yet the reality is that it is very freeing. Because we are thoroughly familiar with the words, we are freed spiritually to go where the words take us—whether it is to a place of penitence for our sins, of deep searching for God in prayer, or of joy in the incredibly generous gift of Christ’s life for us. Like icons and sacraments, the Prayer Book is a window into another world—God’s world—through which we see our own world and lives differently. Granted, it takes a little getting used to…but once the Prayer Book becomes familiar it is a springboard, not a brick wall. Current and historical versions of the Prayer Book are available online.
The Regular Services
The central service of worship at Trinity is the Holy Eucharist, the remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection made concrete in the bread and wine. Each week, we begin by listening to scripture and reflecting on its meaning for life, and then move through prayer, confession and forgiveness to becoming the family of God gathered around the table of God, living ever so briefly the life of heaven before we return again to the world, transformed and renewed.
At the 8:00 am service, we use traditional language, Rite I, the 10:30 am service alternates between Rite I and contemporary language, Rite II. Our 12:30 pm service is adapted from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer, which we call Rite III.
To add to the beauty and festivity of the services, the clergy and other ministers wear vestments. Lay leaders often wear a black robe, called a cassock, and a white vestment, called a surplice. Acolytes, young people and occasionally adults who assist with worship, wear a muslin alb, a white tunic with sleeves that covers the body from neck to ankles.
The priest wears an alb as well. Over it, the priest wears a stole, a narrow band of colored fabric in the color of the season of the church year.
At the Holy Eucharist, the second part of the Sunday service, the priest who presides at the altar wears a chasuble, a circular garment that envelops the body, over the alb. Like the stole, this garment is in the color of season of the church year.
The wearing of vestments signifies that what happens in a church service is unusual and godly, something different from the world of ordinary experience. However, some lay leaders, including those who read scripture and prayers, wear ordinary clothes and sit in the pews with the congregation. These people remind us that everything we do must simultaneously be connected with the world we live in on a daily basis. While the consciousness of heaven is meant to lift us out of this world, it is not escapism, but renewal for the life God has given us to lead.
The Church Year
The Episcopal Church observes the traditional Christian calendar in which we move through the life of Christ in the course of a year. The church year begins with Advent, the season where we prepare for the birth of Christ, begins on the Sunday closest to November 30. Christmas itself lasts 12 days, after which we celebrate the Epiphany (January 6) in which the light of Christ breaks out into the world.
Lent, the forty days of penitential preparation for Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday. The most deeply spiritual services of the year take place during the week before Easter, Holy Week, in which we commemorate the last days of the life of Christ culminating in his resurrection on Easter Sunday. During the Easter season, we focus particularly on the experiences of the risen Christ in the early Church, culminating in Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, when the disciples are filled by the Holy Spirit and sent into the world.
During all of these seasons, the Bible readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary for their relevance to the events being commemorated. During the rest of the year in the long season after Pentecost, the New Testament is read sequentially from Sunday to Sunday so the congregation can experience the total teaching and experience of Christ and of the apostle Paul and other authors of New Testament letters. Old Testament lessons are selected to correspond with the theme of the day's Gospel.
Where do I go from here?
To church, we hope! As you worship at Trinity, please feel free to ask any questions that come to mind. We trust and pray that, as worship becomes more familiar to you, the experience of being with God and your family in Christ at Trinity will open the doors of the kingdom of God to you.
Parking at Trinity on Sundays and During the Week.
Free Parking is available to all Guests and Parish members while the Church is open in the parking lot directly across from the Chapel on Holman Street, Occasionally on Sundays or at large events, our parking lot does fill up. On those days we have permission from HCC to park in their parking lot located catty-corner from the Church on Fannin and Holman street. If you have a question about Parking you can contact the [email protected] or talk to our security guard Sam Jones who is on sight at all services.