What Newcomers May Expect
Grace Church seeks to be a place of prayer,
beautiful worship and music, a reasoned faith, and warm welcome.
If you visit Grace Church in Newark you should expect to be treated with dignity and respect no matter your background. You will not be singled out or embarrassed. You may be greeted by friendly ushers and invited to coffee hour or another event, but there will be no pressure to commit to more than you are comfortable in your own time.
You should not experience judgmental attitudes or expectations of conformity to particular points of doctrine. And you will also not be expected to leave your brain or any other integral part of who you are outside the church premises. This does not mean, however, that you may not be challenged to live a better and more devoted life in service to God.
People who visit an Anglo-Catholic parish for the first time may be curious about some of its customs and unsure of how to act within worship. But, do not worry or be afraid to ask questions.
While there is some similarity, practices of piety vary from person to person. And Anglicans believe that we learn how to be Christian (how to worship, pray, and live) through our worship; we are always learning and being formed by our acts of worship. People will not judge you if you do not know exactly when to kneel or stand. We were all there once!
However, in general, we stand to pray and sing and hear the Gospel, we sit to hear the other scripture readings and sermon, and we kneel to make confession and receive communion. Also, it is generally safe to stand or sit whenever the priest who is celebrating stands or sits.
When you arrive at Grace, an usher will hand you a service leaflet that will contain all you need to worship. You can follow the instructions in italics and participate in worship as much as you desire. There will be special instructions for how to receive communion, if you are unfamiliar with our customs.
Please fill out a Visitors' Card in the pew or the visitor's book so that we may know you have worshiped with us. Then, please join us for coffee hour, come back for another event, or to another Sunday Mass.
At any time, if you would like to speak with a priest, do not hesitate to call the church, email, or speak to Fr. Bates at church.
And if you would like to read an outsider's experience of visiting Grace Church in Newark for the first time, read this Mystery Worshiper Report.