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13. What do I need to know to participate in worship? Some tips...

  • Be respectful of other parishioners. Some like quiet before the service. If you want to hold a conversation before church, please do it in the Parish House or very very quietly in the Meeting House.
  • Hymns: The church musician will usually play all the way through a hymn first. Then the congregation begins singing on the second time through. Usually we sing all verses, unless the worship leader or the order of service instructs otherwise. We also may stand to sing, if we are able. Can't carry a tune? That's all right, too. You can join in the spirit of the moment.
  • Joys and Concerns: Individuals briefly share news of great joy or sorrow with the congregation, first introducing themselves. You are welcome to do this with us. Remember to be brief; this is not a time of announcements or news commentary. Your fellow congregants will seek you out and hear the rest of your story in Coffee Hour.
  • Dancing in Church: One of our parishioners contributes Liturgical Dance during various services. Uncommonly, others also dance. Just as it is not required, it is not forbidden. A little moving is good.
  • We sometimes remain seated after the Chalice is extinguished so we can listen to the musician play the Postlude. The Minister will invite you to stay or go right to Coffee Hour. It's your choice.
  • Please express your appreciation by gently placing your palms together and rubbing up and down. Exuberant clapping, although heartfelt, breaks the mood of worship for some parishioners. Another mode of expressing praise is to hold both hands up at shoulder height and move your fingers.
  • If the worship leader says, "sing," or "move," or "clap," or "dance," go ahead and join in! Okay if you just watch or listen.
  • Join us at Coffee Hour after the service for conversation and refreshment. Though some of us see each other only on Sundays, we'd love to meet you and chat with you. We'll invite you to come again and join in our First Parish community life.