Sunday, April 15, 2007

Worshipping with the Episcopalians

I'm so glad that Hans and I went to the Trinity Church today. It was a very nice experience. First of all, the people were so friendly. The usher who greeted me when I came into the sanctuary asked if I was a visitor, and I told him yes and that my son and I were there to attend the worship service. Apparently many come just to tour the building when the doors are open and then choose to leave. We were very early, so I asked him in which pew box George Washington had sat, and he immediately ushered me there and asked if we wanted to sit in that box for the church service. Well, I took him up on that! It was actually located right to the left of the triple-decked pulpit. To our surprise, not only had our first President sat there, but also Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, Princess Margaret, and Desmond Tutu - at separate occasions, of course. The kneeling benches had needlepointed royal insignia on them.

The order of service was more familiar to Hans than I, but pretty easy to follow. The lady in our next door pew box was very cordial, and after the service shared with us that she and her husband, a retired physician, used to live in Rochester, Minnesota. She told us only one person in the church currently owns a pew box, and she hardly attends as she is elderly. Her pew box remains vacant until 5 minutes before the service begins.

At the conclusion of the service, the priest came to our pew box to greet us and find out where we were from. Again, he was very friendly. We joined up with the tour group that had begun and learned that two of the stained windows were made by Tiffany and Co. The others were made in France.

This church is not only historical, but vibrant. Not long ago, their youth group had a sleep over in the church and put together 29,000 paperclips that are draped around the pillars in the narthex. Each paperclip represents the 29,000 people who are hungry around the world each day.
(Note: The top photo (on its side) is one of the Tiffany windows.)

1 comment:

-Peder said...

I love the title of this post. It sounds very National Geographical. You could follow it up with 'Anglicans in the Mist'.