“From early times Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special devotion … They formed processions, worshipped where Christ suffered and died, and venerated relics.
“From this beginning evolved the rites we observe on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. These services provide a liturgical experience of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life, as well as the time and events leading up to his resurrection.” (source)
Everyone from the Mon Valley area is invited to celebrate Holy Week with us at St. Stephen’s, including visitors, travelers, former parishioners and those without a church. In addition, all baptized Christians are welcome to receive Communion in the Episcopal Church.
Maundy Thursday (March 29): Agape meal at 6:30 p.m., with service and stripping of the altar to follow
Good Friday (March 30): Liturgy at 12 noon; private confessions will be heard after the service, until 3 p.m.
Easter Sunday (April 1): Rite I service at 8 a.m., Rite II service at 10 a.m.
The annual parish meeting and election of vestry will be at 9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, between the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services.
This is to enable both our 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services to participate.
If you are a regular communicant at St. Stephen’s, please plan to attend and participate as we plan for 2018!
Excerpted from Father Dave’s sermon on Feb. 26, 2017, the last Sunday of Epiphany:
At the end of Black History Month, I was watching a program which traced some of the evolution — to date — of the lie and sin which is racism, and the very slow healing of that sin.
One aspect of that sin of which I am aware, but have become more deeply aware, is the ironic presence of that sin within the Church.
I’ve always been fascinated by our history. We brought men and women from Africa almost as if we were herding cattle. Yet the black persons we treated so cruelly found within the faith we proclaimed a liberating faith of their own, and celebrated it — often in secret — with a joy and strength that, at times, embarrasses me.
Perhaps that’s why Christianity came to bring faith and healing to those we treated as less than God’s children. We preached it, they lived it! Continue reading