Greetings from Saint Stephen’s!
I hope this letter finds you well, and that you’ve had an amazing summer.
Some of you might not know me that well, so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about myself. My wife and I moved here from Atlanta a few years back, and we did so specifically because of St. Stephen’s. I was finishing a residency at the VA Hospital in Atlanta, and received a tip from a colleague of mine that this church in McKeesport was looking for someone.
Well, it didn’t take me long to absolutely fall in love with the church — both the people and the place. We spoke a few times, and then I came up to visit for a weekend. I immediately felt like it was home, and like the people were family. Of course, I’m certainly not the only one. I hear this again and again. Whenever they are at St. Stephen’s, it feels like coming back to the family home, and the people there feel like one big family.
“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.