Our church follows the calendar of the liturgical year. Beginning with Advent and progressing through Christmas, Epiphany Season, Lent, Easter Season, and the Season after Pentecost. These seasons follow the earthly life of Christ as well as his ministry in the world. St. Mary’s is especially blessed to offer special liturgies throughout the liturgical for major feasts and seasons of the church.
Christmas is the season of celebration of God coming among us in our savior, Jesus Christ. At St. Mary’s Christmas does not begin until the evening of December 24th. Before that, it is still Advent and the church remains decorated for that season. Christmas at St. Mary’s is celebrated with the following special liturgies:
Christmas Lessons and Carols
This service takes place at 4:00 the afternoon of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, whatever the calendar date may be. As its creators stated over 100 years ago: “The main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God …’ seen ‘through the windows and words of the Bible” To that end, we use the world famous order of service that is sung at Kings’ College, Cambridge, in England. Our choir sings appropriate anthems to go with the nine lessons included. There are also carols for all to sing.
Christmas Eve Family Eucharist
The Family Eucharist takes place on Christmas Eve at 4:00 PM. It is preceded by 30 minutes of Christmas Carol singing at 3:30 PM. This service is suitable for those that wish a shorter Christmas service earlier in the day. It does not include a sermon. It does include our Christmas Pageant, Carols for all to Sing, and Holy Communion.
Christmas Eve “Midnight” Eucharist
The “midnight” eucharist actually begins at 11:00 PM. It is preceded by 30 minutes of Christmas Carol singing and Choir music at 10:30 PM. This service is firmly rooted in the tradition of Episcopal worship. It includes a choral eucharist with service music sung by the choir, traditional Christmas anthems, and carols for all to sing. This service also includes a sermon. Incense is used at this liturgy