Are you thinking about stopping in for a service? Here are some helpful tips on what to expect:
What to Wear and When to Arrive
It depends on what you’re comfortable in. Some people come in their “Sunday best,” while others dress more casually. Jeans and sneakers are okay. God doesn’t care about our attire and neither do we. Many people arrive for services about 10 minutes before the service begins. Running late? no problem, come on in, God doesn’t care that you aren’t on time and neither do we.
Are masks required
Yes, for the safety of everyone, any service held inside the building requires masks to be worn. A mask must cover both your nose and mouth. For outside services, masks are only required when you are not physically distanced from someone else or when communion is being distributed.
Changes to our Services due to COVID
Currently we have four services a week. Saturday evening at 5 p.m. and Sunday morning at 8 a.m are both held inside the sanctuary. Our Wednesday evening and Sunday morning 10 a.m service are held outside on the lawn
Entering the Building
All Saint’s is located at the corner of Frankford Ave and Fitler St. There is ample parking in our lot or on Frankford Ave. Unfortunately, our parking lot is not visible from Frankford Ave. The entrance to the lot is down Eden St behind the cemetery. We have 2 entrances to the building. Most people enter through the big red doors on Frankford Ave which open to the sanctuary but you are welcome to enter through the side door as well. (Both entrances are handicap-accessible.)
Children at Worship
Are you unsure if your children should attend service with you? Relax! We welcome (and encourage!) children of all ages to attend any of our three services. We enjoy hearing the sound of children in worship. Once current COVID restrictions have been lifted, Children’s Education time will take place during our 10 a.m. service. Ask anyone in the building and they will gladly escort you to the classrooms. Currently, we are mailing activity packets to the children’s homes. Let us know if you would like one sent to your child.
Our Worship Style
Our entire worship service is printed in a handout. No need for multiple books, finding pages or anything like that. We try to make it as simple as possible to participate. Participation is strongly encouraged but not required. There are many different ways to worship and you are welcome to worship as you wish. While some services include praise bands and utilize TV screens, ours do not. Our services are more traditional mainly using an organ or keyboard with an occasional string instrument or trumpet.
Due to COVID restrictions, the congregation can sing only if the service is held outside. At our 10 a.m Sunday morning service we always have at least one vocalist to lead singing. While we are not professional singers, the congregation loves to make a joyful noise to the Lord! (LOL)
You are welcome to bring your non-alcoholic beverage of choice along into worship with you. We only ask that the container has a lid to help avoid spills. If you watch closely, you might even catch Fr. Jay drinking his coffee along with you during the service.
When services are inside, you will notice many different individual religious practices. Some people light candles and offer prayers, others may bow before they enter their pew. That’s one of the first things you notice that’s unique about the Episcopal Church: People aren’t required to conform to certain standards or rituals. We welcome everyone!
People may notice you’re having trouble following along, but may not ask if you need help. Here’s another thing about Episcopalians: they don’t want to invade your privacy or embarrass you. However, once you ask, they’re absolutely delighted to help! They’ll get you on track, and if you like, they’ll go through the rest of the service with you, step by step.
Within the bulletin there are instructions on preferred positions for parts of the service. The Episcopal Worship Service includes kneeling, standing and sitting. While the instructions are there, none of them are required. Please do what is most comfortable for you.
During each service, someone, most likely our priest, Fr. Jay, offers a sermon. The average length of sermon is about ten (10) minutes and is used to help relate the bible passages to our everyday lives. One never knows exactly what kin of examples might be in a sermon. As Jay’s coffee mug states, “anything you say might be included in a sermon.” (Of course, this wouldn’t happen without your permission) Fr Jay is a big movie buff and frequently uses movies as examples in his sermons. If you want to experience a sermon or a previous sermon, check out our You Tube channel as most services are livestreamed and recorded.
Gifts for the Mission of the Church (Offering)
Once again due to COVID restrictions, we no longer pass an offering plate, but rather collect the gifts for the mission of the church in a box at the back of the church.
At All Saints’ Torresdale, as our guest, you are in no way expected to put anything in the collection plate. In fact, many of our members send in their offerings through the mail, sothey don’t put anything in. Please do not feel an obligation to contribute financially. This is our opportunity to serve you as our guest
Holy Communion (Eucharist)
We need to talk a little bit now about Holy Communion, or what Episcopalians call the Eucharist. We celebrate this at virtually every worship service.
When you receive communion, three things happen for you spiritually. First, your sins are forgiven. Second, this is a strengthening of your relationship with Jesus Christ and with God’s people. And third, this is a preview, if you will, of the great banquet which awaits us in heaven.
Currently, communion is only being offered in one kind, the bread. According to our faith, communion with one kind is a full and valid sacrament. We hope to return to offering both bread and wine again in the near future.
We no longer leave our pew or chair during communion, rather the priest brings the bread to you. We ask that you leave your mask on until after the priest has moved to the next person.
After the Service
We conclude the service with a closing hymn which is printed in the bulletin. Prior to the pandemic, many of our members and guests alike continued toward our parish hall following the service to enjoy some coffee and tea, cake and snacks. Unfortunately due to COVID, we have been forced to discontinued coffee hour. We hope to bring it back soon.
If you have questions about what to expect when attending All Saints’ Torresdale, give us a call at 215-637-8787, or drop us an email. We’re thrilled that you’re considering us as your spiritual community, and we pray that God leads you to true joy on your journey.