Trinity Church, Swarthmore welcomes all to participate in worship. In the Episcopal Church, all baptized Christians of whatever age are welcome to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The rector of Trinity believes that all who seek God and are drawn to the way of Christ are welcome at the Lord's Table.
Every Sunday, we celebrate in the liturgy of Holy Eucharist. From September to May, we worship on Sundays at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., and 11 a.m. In the summer months, and for special occasions, the 9:15 and 11 a.m. services are combined into a 10 a.m. service. Children are welcome at all services, and activity bags are available in the rear of the church. There is ample room at the rear of the church for young children and their parents to stand and play when sitting in the pews becomes a challenge!
Throughout the year, Trinity honors the traditional feasts of the Church, including including All Saints and All Souls observances; Christmas Eve services featuring an early-evening Christmas Pageant and a "Midnight Mass"; Ash Wednesday services and Evening Prayer in Lent; Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday; and the seven Sundays of Eastertide, followed by Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. We also worship outdoors on occasion, to include an outdoor worship and a picnic event in nearby Little Crum Creek Park at the end of summer and an outdoor Blessing of the Animals on the first Sunday in October (weather permitting).
In addition, we celebrate a midweek Eucharist on Wednesday mornings and gather in other ways for prayer, study, and contemplation.
Sunday, 8:00 am
Lasting approximately 50 minutes, the 8 a.m. service follows the traditional language and theology of Rite I, with modifications for the Prayers of the People from Rite II. Afterwards, attendees meet for coffee and light breakfast in the Parish Hall and are encouraged to participate in the Adult Forum, when offered.
Sunday, 9:15 am*
The 9:15 service is more oriented to families with children and youth, although not all attendees have children. Music includes the Lift Every Voice and Sing (LEVAS) Hymnal, music from the Taizé and Iona communities, and guitar and other musical instruments. This service features a Family of the Week, who assist with ushering, offering and readings. In addition to a general Rite II format, the congregation is very receptive to alternative liturgies, including A New Zealand Prayer Book, Enriching our Worship, The Iona Prayers and the occasional special liturgies posted on the national Church website. During the Communion, congregants come to the front of the church and gather around the altar, and the bread and wine are distributed to the gathered group. Vested acolytes and verger are joined by chalice bearers who sit in the congregation until the Offertory.
Sunday, 11:00 am*
The 11 a.m. choral Eucharist is a Rite II liturgy which includes sung settings of the congregational texts, and offertory and communion music sung by the choir. Chanting of the Eucharistic Prayer is optional at the discretion of the priest. Afterwards, participants enjoy coffee and refreshments at “Take Ten,” hosted by members of the congregation.
- Swarthmore College students often join the congregation at 11 a.m.
*In the summer and on special occasions, the 9:15 and 11 a.m. services are combined into a single 10:00 am service. The 10 a.m. service in summer is followed by a friendly time of outdoor refreshments hosted by various families: “Lemonade on the Lawn” in June and July, "Sundae Sundays" in August.
Monday, 7:30 pm
The Centering Prayer Group meets on Monday evenings at 7:30pm in the Cleaves Room. Trinity's Centering Prayer Group is a part of the Contemplative Outreach of Southeast Pennsylvania and the national network of individual groups for support and education. The practice of Centering Prayer casts new light and meaning on all forms of prayer; members meet to read, study, share and "sit" in silence together. All are welcome to participate.
Wednesday, 9:30 am
On Wednesday mornings, we gather in the chancel pews behind the altar at 9:30am for Holy Eucharist, shaped by a time for shared reflection on the readings, praying a list of special concerns, and Holy Communion gathered round the altar.