Visiting Saint Mark’s

We are delighted that you are considering a visit to Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church!

Fr. BobHere at Saint Mark’s, you’ll find open hearts, open minds, and open doors — a community of faith made up of children and elders, families and singles, converts and seekers — serving one another through the love of Christ.

We know that you may have some questions about visiting Saint Mark’s for the first time. Here are some answers to questions frequently asked by those new to the church and its ministries.

When are worship services held?

Worship life is rich and varied at Saint Mark’s and services are held throughout the week. See the schedule of service times here.

Where is Saint Mark’s located and where do I park?

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church is located within walking distance of DART’s South Irving Transit Center and the Trinity Railway Express South Irving station. The church is also just minutes away from I-30, Highway 183, and Loop 12.

There are three parking lots at Saint Mark’s. One lot is located on the northwest corner of the church along South O’Connor Road, and a second is located on the south side of the church along Sixth Street. Both of these lots include disabled parking spaces. The third parking lot is located west of the church, across South O’Connor Road.

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church
516 South O’Connor Road
Irving, TX 75060

Phone: (972) 253-7124

What can I expect at my first visit to Saint Mark’s?

No matter which of the services you choose to attend at Saint Mark’s, you’ll be greeted warmly by a group of friendly “regular folks” who are thrilled to have you in their midst.

When attending the Sunday morning service, Vestry greeters will be on hand to welcome you personally and to answer any questions you may have. Our team of Ushers will be happy to provide you with a bulletin for the morning’s service and will help you find a seat if you need special assistance. Otherwise, you are welcome to sit wherever you are most comfortable.

The style of worship at Saint Mark’s is “formal”, which isn’t to say “stuffy”, but rather respectful and contemplative. The order of service can be easily followed and is based on a rich liturgical heritage going back hundreds of years. The form we follow is the liturgy as provided in the Book of Common Prayer, copies of which can be found in every pew.

Music also plays a major role in the worship services at Saint Mark’s. The hymns and anthems sung in the Episcopal church are some of the most beautiful musical works ever created and we encourage visitors to make a joyful noise right along with the rest of us!

After the service, you are invited to join us in the parish hall for coffee, sweet things, and fellowship. We’d like to get to know you and look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you into our community of faith.

What is a worship service like at Saint Mark’s?

Typically, services begin with an opening hymn which is followed by readings from the principal text of the Anglican liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer. This is accompanied by readings of scripture, Father Bob’s weekly sermon, and The Sacrament of Holy Communion, also known as the Holy Eucharist. Hymns, anthems, and service music are sung throughout the service.

Do I need to be a member of Saint Mark’s to join in worship and other programs at the church?

Membership is not a requirement for worship at Saint Mark’s, nor is it a requirement in order to participate in our activities and programs. We encourage you to give some thought to becoming a member, however. Here’s why.

In our present society, being a Christian isn’t easy. By coming together as a community grounded in prayer and worship, we participate more fully in God’s love, gain a deeper understanding of faith, and grow into the life of discipleship and service God has prepared for each of us. Won’t you join us?

How should I dress for a visit to Saint Mark’s?

Saint Mark’s has no dress code and you are welcome just as you are. You’ll discover that worship at Saint Mark’s is more about what is on your mind and in your heart than how you appear physically. What matters most is that we come together in this place to give thanks, exchange peace, and share the gifts of God.

Is the church wheelchair accessible?

Yes. You may gain access to the church building from several entrances, each accessible by ramp and just a few steps from disabled parking.

Where will my children be during the service?

While children are welcome in the worship service, for your convenience, a nursery for your little ones is provided during the main service on Sunday. Many children enjoy the Children’s Chapel, where they begin learning the order of the service, and then join the congregation afterward at communion and stay through the remainder of the service.

Our nursery and Christian Education area is located in the northeast corner of the facility, in the Education Wing.

Will I be required to put money in the collection plate?

In a word, no. Monetary offerings are gifts of thanksgiving returned to God by parishoners who consider Saint Mark’s their home. As a guest at Saint Mark’s, we want you to be blessed by the experience of worshiping with us. Should you choose to make an offering as the plate passes, understand that few people know (or care) how much money you put in. Give as God inspires you.

Are visitors allowed to participate in communion? How does it all work?

When it comes to Holy Communion, Saint Mark’s prepares an open table. All baptized Christians, no matter the tradition or denomination, are welcome to receive Holy Communion here.

When the usher releases your pew, proceed up the center aisle to the alter. When a space at the alter rail opens up, grab it! Kneel or stand at the rail as you are able.

If you are unable to negotiate the few steps up to the alter rail, simply take a seat in the first pew at the front. The priest and lay minister will bring the Sacraments down to you after the other communicants have passed through the line.

To receive the host (or bread) place one hand over the other with palms up. The priest will place a wafer on your open palm. If you are going to drink from the chalice, go ahead and consume the wafer immediately. When the chalice bearer brings the cup to you, you can help direct the chalice by placing your hand gently on the bottom of the chalice and tilting it slightly so that you may take a sip.

If you would rather intinct (or dip) the wafer in the wine, simply leave the wafer on your palm. A chalice bearer will intinct the wafer and place it on your tongue.

You may choose to receive a blessing instead of the Holy Sacraments. Simply place your hands across your chest when you reach the alter rail. This will indicate to Father Bob that you wish to receive a blessing and he will proceed accordingly. Children are welcome at the alter rail for blessings, as well!

You may then proceed back to your seat for the post-communion prayer and final blessing.

Will I be asked to stand up in front of everyone?

NO! We are blessed by your presence and realize that your being with us is not for our benefit but for the praise of our Lord. Prayer and worship at Saint Mark’s is an intensly personal endeavor for each participant. No public exhibition required.

Would it be possible to meet with the priest?

Absolutely! Father Bob can be contacted directly by submitting a message here, or by calling the Parish Office at (972) 253-7124. You may also indicate your desire to meet with a priest by filling out a visitor card found in the book racks in every pew. Father Bob considers it an honor to meet with you.