The Rev. Bollin M. Millner, Jr.
Plans for Summer Worship
At Grace and Holy Trinity Church we offer three services each Sunday morning from September to May. During the Summer months, we continue the early morning Rite I Holy Eucharist in the Chapel, but we “combine” the CrossRoads (8:45 a.m.) and Classic Services (11:00 a.m.) and hold one service at 10:00 a.m.
The questions then becomes, “Which service style do we use?” In the summer of 2016 we tried something new – a hybrid service, combining elements from both the Classic Service and the CrossRoads service. After the summer we used a survey to learn more about how this was received.
We received 20 responses to the survey. The responses were wide ranging, some suggesting great openness, and others very committed to their favorite style. For instance, in answer to the question “What did you like least about the hybrid service” one person, a regular attender of the Classic Service said, “No dislikes.” Another, a regular attender of the CrossRoads service said, “No problem with it at all.” Still another person, an attender of the Classic Service, said “Not much to like at all.” One person said, they “would prefer more from the Amazing Grace Choir and less of the vested choir.” Still another said, they wanted more of “the full choir.”
A similar variety of answers were given to the other questions in the survey. Creating a ‘hybrid’, i.e. using parts of the CrossRoads and the Classic Service liturgies, did not have strong support, but it did generate a lot of helpful comments. For instance, one person said, “I can’t say I like any one thing more than the other. I just enjoy church.” And another, said, “It’s okay, I think I understand the issues.” But over all there wasn’t strong support for creating something new.
It terms of planning, the answers to question 9 were especially helpful: “Rather than creating a ‘hybrid’ service, would you prefer 10:00 a.m. worship to always follow the CrossRoads tradition, the Classic Service tradition, or would you prefer using different services on alternative Sundays each month?” Two people would prefer it always to be the CrossRoads style. Seven people prefer it always to be the Classic Service style and ten said we should alternate. There has been a lot to think about and here are the conclusions.
The plan for worship for the summer of 2017
- We will have two services on Sunday mornings, one at 7:45 a.m. and one at 10:00 a.m.
- The 10:00 a.m. service will be Holy Eucharist. The Book of Common Prayer (page 13) clearly states, “The Holy Eucharist (is) the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day…” In addition, the CrossRoads Service is always Eucharist and by combining the services we will continue to honor that. Daily Morning Prayer will return when we move back to having services at 11:00 a.m.
- We will alternate the style, utilizing the CrossRoads liturgy about once a month over the course of the summer.
- There may be an instructed Eucharist as a part of the experience. If so, it will only be offered once and we will explore different formats.
- We will offer the play space, and during the sermon, the children will gather in the chapel for a children’s sermon.
- There will be signs encouraging people to sit forward. The reason for sitting closer together is so that we can support each other more easily with our spoken responses and with our singing.
As always, I look forward to worshiping God with you at Grace and Holy Trinity Church.
The Rev. Bollin M. Millner, Jr.