We believe in One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Worship is at the center of our common life. Trinity Church is a community of people who believe the good news of God, that God is revealed in Jesus Christ. We believe that God gave himself to the world as a gift in sending Jesus of Nazareth: one who self-sacrificially loved others to the point of death, and whom God raised from the dead, overcoming the powers of evil, ugliness, and hatred. In the risen Jesus, God has bestowed on us goodness, beauty and love. In Jesus, we learn that God is love and that we are beloved of God. Our worship each week is a celebration and thanksgiving for God's love for us, and our attempt to practice the love that Jesus showed us.
We share in a two thousand year old tradition of Christian "liturgy," a word which literally means "public service." Liturgical Christian worship invites each person to be a participant and not a mere spectator, to be wholly engaged in worship with all of the senses. At Trinity, you will see people bowing or kneeling, making the sign of the cross, standing to sing or pray, and approaching the altar to receive bread and wine. Our liturgy follows the Book of Common Prayer: we sing hymns, pray, listen to the reading of Scripture and a sermon, recite the central mystery of Christian faith as expressed in the Nicene Creed, and offer to God a sacrifice in the form of praise and thanksgiving in a communion meal with God and one another, which we call the Eucharist.
Scroll down for our sermons archive, information about our music programs, and a short explanation of the sacraments.
12 pm Holy Eucharist, Rite I
5:30 pm Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Prayers for Healing
8 am Holy Eucharist, Rite I
9 am Holy Eucharist, Rite II
11 am Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5 pm Holy Eucharist
7 pm Third Sunday of each month (Oct - May)
5 pm First Sunday of each month (Oct - May, except January)
Ash Wednesday Services
7 am Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
12 pm Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
5 pm Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
7 pm Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes
Our clergy will also be participating in Ashes To Go
at locations around Princeton
The Word of the Lord
At the celebration of each Eucharist, we take time to listen to the reading of Scripture and to a homilist elaborate its meaning for our place and time. The Old and New Testaments of the Bible tell the story of God's relationship with his people Israel and with the Church, which is a gathering of people from all nations to join Israel in devotion to God. The Bible was written and edited by many people from many places and times, and we believe that God used those people, in their own cultures and circumstances, to communicate his message of love and his promise of salvation to all people.
The climax of God's message to us is the Gospel, or good news, about Jesus: that Jesus lived a life of obedient love, gave up his life for his friends and his enemies, and now lives again to reconcile us to God and one another. Each week we listen to passages from the Bible that recount our story and remind us of God's promises, God's love, and God's intentions for us. The sermons which follow after the Scripture readings are one of the ways we believe God communicates with us today, using what he said long ago in the Bible to speak the good news here and now.
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
Trinity has a vibrant music program, comprised of children's and adult choirs, and an amateur string ensemble called Trinity Strings. The choirs at Trinity are open to people of all ages and levels of experience who are able to match pitch and meet the majority of rehearsal and service requirements of the program. Previous singing experience is not necessary. All are welcome. Come give it a try, and enjoy great music and fellowship. Our choirs are led by our Director of Music, Tom Whittemore.
Trinity Church is a gathering around the risen Christ, who we believe is, by God's power, present for us in certain symbols. In our tradition, the symbolic practices and objects which signify that Christ is present among us are called "sacraments." The two central sacraments that define us as a church are baptism and the Eucharist. Baptism is a ceremonial washing and a symbolic participation in Jesus' death and resurrection; it is how people become members of the Church. The Eucharist is a shared meal in which we commune with God and one another, as we anticipate the future kingdom, where together we will commune with God forever. Trinity Church believes that in this act of sharing a simple meal of bread and wine, the risen Jesus is truly present among us, transforming us by love and grace, and enabling us for service. Trinity practices "open communion," which means that every person is welcomed to approach the altar with us, and to share in our fellowship at the Lord's Table, where there are no strangers, outcasts, nor unwanted guests. All are welcome to come and be fed.
We also share in other sacraments, which we believe also signify Christ's active and gracious presence among us:
Trinity's ordained ministers are called priests, because we believe that when the Church ordains women and men to the ministry, God makes them participants in Christ's own priesthood, making them agents of grace and love who work to reconcile people to God and to one another. In the Episcopal Church, the three kinds of ordination to ministry people receive are ordination to service (Deacons), to priesthood, and to administration (Bishops). Contact one of our priests if you are interested in discernment for ordination.
Each week during the liturgy, the church makes a collective confession of our sin—our failure to love God and love others—and after our confession, the priest will declare God's forgiveness. This is called "absolution," and the whole act is called the sacrament of reconciliation. At Trinity, you can also schedule a private confession with the Rev. Paul or the Rev. Nancy.
Trinity baptizes infants, and when they grow to be old enough to take ownership of their own Christian faith, those baptized as young children take part in what is called confirmation. When someone is confirmed, she or he is prayed for and blessed by the bishop. If you are interested in baptism or confirmation, please contact the Rev. Paul or the Rev. Nancy.
Trinity celebrates the love and formation of new families in marriage, which we believe symbolizes the love that Jesus showed for us in dying for us, and in the family of God that Jesus invites us into. Trinity welcomes to the sacrament of marriage traditional, heterosexual couples, as well as same-sex couples.
Finally, we are well aware of our human frailty. It is our practice as a church to regularly pray for the sick and for those who have died. Additionally, in times of sickness and when people come to the end of life, our priests are available for special prayers and the service of anointing the sick. For information about pastoral care or funerals, see our Contact page.