Here are answers to common questions many people have about our Church. If you do not see the answer to your particular question, please ask a member of our clergy or vestry who will be able to help you. Or send us an email.
There are 4 Sunday services. Are they the same or are they different?
The 8 AM service is a Eucharist - Communion - without music. The 9:30 AM service takes place at Old Swedes Church and is a Eucharist; a cantor helps the congregation sing the appointed hymns. The 10:30 AM service is a Eucharist with the Trinity Choir. The 12:00-noon service is a Spanish Eucharist.
Nursery care for infants and toddlers takes place during both the 9:30 am Old Swedes service and the 10:30 am Trinity service. Sunday School - Godly Play classes for 3- through 8-year-olds – also takes place at the 10:30 am and Noon services. Children join their parents at the Exchange of the Peace.
Does it matter which one I go to?
Not a bit. You may want to try each one to see which is most comfortable for you.
At my last church, I was active in the choir. Can new people join?
Always! Contact Terry Gaus-Woollen, Director of Music, through the Parish Office 652.8605.
What is the Holy Eucharist or Communion?
Holy Eucharist is the sacrament commanded by Jesus Christ for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection. The symbols in the Eucharist are bread and wine. Other names for this service are the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, and Mass.
Do I have to be baptized or confirmed to participate in Holy Eucharist?
The canons (the laws of the Episcopal Church) direct that receiving Holy Communion is for those who are baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit as the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood renews the redeeming power of God given in Holy Baptism. Some in the Church are calling for Open Communion, reflecting the inclusive nature of our Lord Jesus who welcomed all to his Table. We do not check for your baptismal ID when you come to the rail. The Holy Spirit is at work. This is the Lord’s Table!
How do I take communion?
Follow those in front of you and wait for direction to the altar rail by an usher. Kneel at the communion rail with your right hand over your left. The priest will come with a host or morsel of bread. We prefer you eat the bread then drink wine from the chalice, or you may hold the bread and dip it into the wine chalice. Both ways are completely acceptable.
Do I have to take communion?
No. You may remain in the pew. If you like and want to join people receiving Communion, come to the rail for a blessing. To receive a blessing, simply cross your arms over your chest.
How old do children have to be to receive Communion?
At Trinity Episcopal Parish, we teach that Baptism and Communion are connected rituals, so children may start receiving as soon as they are baptized. Instruction occurs in our programs of religious formation for children. If your child does not want communion, it is as easy as shaking your head or having the child cross their arms over their chest for a blessing.
When and where is Sunday School?
Sunday School for children is held in classrooms throughout the church complex at Trinity Church. An usher can guide you and your child (children) to the correct room.
Where do I find out more about Sunday School and who should I contact?
Call the Parish Office, 302.652.8605. Information about Sunday School is also on our website, here.
Is there a dress code or dress expectation?
No. However, many men come in “business casual”, slacks and a shirt. Most women also come in “business casual” slacks or dresses/skirts. But all are welcome regardless of dress. During the summer, the dress is much more casual.
Is there a nursery?
At Trinity Church, we have a nursery with full windows on two sides off the main lobby just steps from the worship space.
What do we call the clergy?
The clergy has no definitive title. Their first name is appropriate, but so are Mother, Madre, Father, Padre, Mr., Mrs., and Ms.
What are the colors of the altar linens and stoles on the clergy?
The colors signify the different liturgical seasons of the Episcopal Church.
Why do parts of the service take place in the middle of the congregation and other parts up front?
Each parish is different – the prayers of the people are often said from the midst of the congregation, the people. For the most part, the Gospel is read from among the people but is sometimes said in front of the altar. The sermon can also be spoken from a variety of places in the church. There is no set directive regarding where these events take place.
When do we sit and when do we kneel?
Follow those around you! Different parishes have different standards for sitting, standing, and kneeling. There is never a judgmental eye for those who are not doing as the rest are doing, so be comfortable as you worship. If you are unable to stand or kneel, you may stay seated.
What is the difference between the red book and the blue book?
At Trinity, the red book is The Book of Common Prayer from which the service material is said. The blue book is The Hymnal from which the hymns are sung. At Old Swedes, the colors are reversed.
Is there a suggested amount to put in the offering?
Not at all. It is given as you wish.
Can anyone be married at Trinity Episcopal Church or Old Swedes Church?
We are blessed with having beautiful historic church buildings that are wonderful for weddings. To hold a wedding at either Trinity Episcopal Church or Old Swedes Church, please contact the Rector, Patricia Downing, at 302.652.8605 for a copy of wedding procedures at Trinity Parish. For more information click here.
Is there a class I can attend to find out more about Trinity Parish and the Episcopal Church, even if I’m not sure if I want to join?
An Adult Inquirers Class is held once or twice a year for those who want to learn more about the Episcopal Church and its practices. If you wish to seek the sacrament of Confirmation during the Bishop’s annual visit, you must complete this class. Contact the Parish Office for details.
Are there tours given of the church and parish buildings?
Trinity Parish is over 300 years old. Tours are offered at Old Swedes Church every Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM to
4 PM at no charge to the public. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places. Trinity Church is open to the public or parishioners every weekday from 9 AM – 3 PM. Just ask in the Parish Office.
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