Glorifying God Together
It takes faithful curiosity and even courage to join an unfamiliar community in worship. We know this because all of us were “new” somewhere, sometime. Knowing this, Holy Trinity Essex does everything we can to make the experience as easy and welcoming as possible. We provide you with a warm greeting, help, and all the materials you need to follow the service. We invite you to relax and know that Holy Trinity Essex worship is a judgment-free zone. We will be alongside to answer questions or let you be if that is best for you! We hope you will feel valued.
Ask an usher or another parishioner if you have any questions. Please sign our guest book!
The Liturgy: A Moving Church
We are a traditional denomination, with a practice of standing and sitting, kneeling, and moving. The church has been doing this since the first century. Even the “least liturgical” denominations have some form of service. There are times of singing, times of prayer, times of reading Scripture, and times of listening to teachings. Every denomination has some sort of routine. These practices in The Episcopal Church are inherited across centuries and express the abundance of a gathering of experiences.
Our life is various, colorful, expressive of the cycle of seasons in creation and in the history of our salvation, and a calendar of remembering all of these things! The story of God is found in the Word. We are formed in memory, in repetitions of thoughts and movements through Word/Scripture and Sacrament/holy signs and actions. We are formed as one as we do the same things. We believe that our unity, our oneness, is very important to God, who is One. So, our faith tradition does not see itself as simply doing the same things but doing the same things in an infinite number of ways and expressions that comfort, guide, and form us, and bring us all together into the oneness and reflection of God.
ABOUT THE SERVICES
Sunday Morning, The Lord’s Day
Sunday is the first day of our week. On this day, the Day of Resurrection, we are formed in the likeness of Christ. We are strengthened by Jesus, the Word, and the Sacraments as we prepare to enter the world to work, play, and serve.
The worship service, called a liturgy (from a Greek word meaning work of the people), is centered in The Holy Eucharist. This is the principal worship of The Episcopal Church, celebrated every Sunday, every “Holy”/”Feast” day. This Holy Eucharist is known in other denominations also as The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Divine Worship, or the Mass. The Eucharist is the remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection through the re-enactment of his Last Supper, the Passover Feast. It is made both tangible (through an ordinary presentation) and intangible (through extraordinary blessing) in the Bread and Wine.
Through the Eucharistic service, the people of God are both instructed and reminded of essential aspects of the Christian life. We gather, we address God with praise, and we hear the Word and the Word taught through a sermon/homily. We affirm our one faith (Creed), offer collected prayers, confess our sins, and are reminded through the redemption of our Christ that we are forgiven. We also offer our gifts to God. These gifts are taken to the altar to be received, blessed, and then used for God’s service. Then, we return to the work of the Good News, dismissed as a transformed people, to live new lives repeatedly serving Jesus in the mission field—the whole world beyond the church doors.
Holy Eucharist Rite II – 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
We celebrate the Holy Eucharist Rite II at both services. The 8:00 a.m. service has no music while the 10:00 a.m. service has music. There is music in a variety of forms found in the hymnals.
The services reflect the theology and contemporary language of the liturgical reforms of the 1970s, which were spurred by a liturgical renewal in Catholicism the decade before. Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and some others followed. We moved the altar closer to the people, with the priest facing the people. We adopted the “common” language of a “common” people and experience, allowing for “common” prayer and worship. The Book of Common Prayer, 500 years ago, made an English-language service available to an English-speaking people, anticipated the all people’s needs to hear the liturgy in the familiar language of the culture and times. The use of contemporary, “common” language is completely faithful to the intents (and even the martyrdoms) of the early reformers who gave us a prayer book.
The current prayer book is the product of a refocus upon the liturgical practices of the earliest centuries of Christian worship. It reclaimed these in the Holy Eucharist Rite II, along with a redemption language, orienting our faith as an Easter People, redeemed and celebrating. This celebration comes with responsibility to remember, to be formed, to work, pray, and give of ourselves, and through the strengthening of the Holy Eucharist, to keep our baptismal promises, serving others in Jesus’ Holy Name.
All these things compel us to joy, even in penitential seasons (times in the year when we examine our lives and admit our faults). At Holy Trinity Essex we express that joy beginning at the door with the kind of greetings you would hear between friends who have not seen each other for long. We believe this is how Jesus would welcome each of us at the door!
This liturgy is fully traditional and fully orthodox, with all processions and practices! We hope you will sense that you are home with the family for a holiday because for Holy Trinity Essex, the senses of Christmas and Easter–Jesus’ coming, preaching, teaching, healing, feeding, dying, and rising–
are ever present in the worship. We celebrate that we are all ministers, gathered in adoring Christ.
You may also go to Coffee Hour in the Parish Hall immediately following both services for additional fellowship. However, we respect your other plans and will not press you.
We welcome people at all stages of life. We hope all generations will encounter the fullness of the faith tradition. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend either service!
There is an unstaffed nursery available during the church services. The nursery contains a changing table, rocking chair, and toys for young children.
Our building is handicapped accessible, and we have handicapped parking spaces.