Like most liturgical churches, St. Paul’s observes the season of Advent on the four Sundays before Christmas. Our Advent worship is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. We not only anticipate our celebration of his first coming in Bethlehem, but also Christ’s coming in the present and his future coming in glory.
St. Paul’s celebrates Jesus’ birth on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. With joyful services of candlelight, carols and Holy Communion, on Christmas Eve we worship at 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm, and 10:00 pm. On Christmas Day we offer another worship opportunity at 10:45 am. Our Christmas celebration then continues on the two Sundays after Christmas, including a service of Carols and Lessons on the first of those two Sundays.
For several weeks following the Christmas season, we observe the time of Epiphany, a season when our worship focuses on several events in Jesus’ life which were “epiphanies” or revelations of his identity and mission. As we reflect on who Jesus was and is, we worship him in all his glory, light and mercy.
As we remember Jesus’ path to the cross, St. Paul’s observes Lent as a time of repentance and renewal, beginning with an Ash Wednesday service at 7:30 pm, and continuing with mid-week vesper services at 7:30 pm each Wednesday. These mid-week services are preceded by a Lenten fellowship dinner at 6:15. Our Sunday worship Bible readings invite attentiveness to the new realities Jesus brings.
Beginning with Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday worship, we reflect on Jesus’ final days, remembering his Last Supper with his disciples at a 7:30 pm service on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday we recall Jesus’ passion and death with a Tenebrae “service of shadows” at 7:30 pm.
After having reflected on the darkness of Jesus’ passion we rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection with an Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 am in St. Paul’s cemetery, and with worship celebrations in our sanctuary at 8:15 am and 10:45 am. For the six Sundays following Easter, we reflect in worship on the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection, and we celebrate the new life Jesus gives.
Pentecost – Summer and Fall
On Pentecost Sunday, usually in May, we recall with awe and gratitude the coming of God’s Holy Spirit to the Christian church. During the summer and fall Sundays which follow, our Bible readings focus on the teachings of Jesus and the wisdom of scripture. This “Time after Pentecost” ends with Christ the King Sunday in late November, a worship celebration of the majesty and mercy of Christ’s reign.