What to Expect on Sunday Morning
Our Sunday services offer a relaxed time of togetherness, contemplation, celebration and learning. Here is what you can expect when you visit First Parish for a typical Sunday morning service:
- Services begin at 10:00 a.m. and last about an hour. Plan to arrive a bit early to find parking.
- Children are invited to begin their morning in the service with their families. Childcare is available for infants through pre-kindergarten.
- The service begins with a few brief announcements, and the lighting of a chalice, a common ritual in Unitarian Universalist congregations. After a hymn and a story for all ages, children leave with their teachers for our SEEK program (Spiritual and Ethical Exploration for Kids). Occasionally we have multigenerational services when children stay for the entire service. Middle School and High School youth have their own Sunday programs in the afternoon. We hope that they will join us in the service as well on Sunday mornings.
- Most services include hymns, a prayer or meditation, sharing of joys and sorrows by those who wish to share personal news with the community, the collection of offerings, choir selections, a sermon, and a closing benediction.
- Unique to First Parish: we turn toward the back of the Sanctuary to sing the last verse of the last hymn. This long-standing tradition symbolizes “facing the world again” with the strength we’ve gained in community.
- The minister offers a benediction, and the service concludes with an organ postlude.
- After the service, there is a chance to socialize downstairs over coffee and light refreshments.
- In the summer, our Summer Services are often led by parishioners. These informal services offer opportunities to explore topics or experiences together in different ways and sometimes in different places.
- Our buildings are accessible to all. We have cut-out seating for wheelchairs in our pews in both the back and front of the Sanctuary, a ramp at the side of the Meetinghouse, and an elevator. We also offer improved hearing devices, large print Orders of Service and large print hymnals in the rear of the Sanctuary.