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.
Easter Day begins what some call the Great Fifty Days. At Sundown on Holy Saturday, this great feast of the church begins with the Great Vigil of Easter. The celebration continues with the services on Easter Sunday and through the next fifty days ending on Pentecost.
At 8:00 PM, we begin The Great Vigil of Easter. This unique worship service traces the whole of Christian history from creation to the resurrection of Christ. It begins outside in our memorial garden. We light a fire which is blessed. That fire lights a new candle. That new candle lights the candles held by all the people assembled. We then gather around the baptismal font and hear the story of God’s creation and redemption of the world. Then, new holy water is blessed and people are baptized. Finally, we hear of the glorious resurrection of Christ and celebrate the first communion of Easter season.
Services are held at their normal times on this day in a nave decked with flowers. The most festive of these is the 10:30 Eucharist which is celebrated in the grand style of Episcopal worship and includes brass, timpani, choir as well as incense and all of the other trappings of high-church liturgy. All of the services are followed by special food, drink, and fellowship.