Maundy Thursday (March 29, 5:30pm): The name comes from the Latin mandatum, the root of our English word “mandate” or “command”. It refers to the new commandment to “love one another” (John 13:34) that Jesus gave his disciples after he had washed their feet on the Thursday of his final week in Jerusalem. Tonight we move through Jesus’ final evening with his disciples, beginning with the Passover meal, through his anguished prayer in the garden of Gethsemane to his betrayal and arrest. Our liturgy highlights many of these key moments. We, too, will be invited to wash one another’s feet as a sign of our willingness to follow Jesus’ mandate to love one another. We will recall the last supper in which Jesus instituted Holy Communion on the night before he died by doing as he commanded: do this for the remembrance of me. The service concludes with a dramatic stripping of the altar: the lights in the sanctuary dim gradually as clergy and acolytes, now dressed in black, remove all altar hangings, candles, vessels and appointments until the altar area is completely bare, at which time the sanctuary becomes completely dark. Those who wish to wait with Christ as the disciples were asked to do at Gethsemane can move to the chapel, which will have been transformed into a garden. You can say a prayer, sit and meditate with the body of Christ, represented in your fellow silent worshippers and in the reserved sacrament stored there. Many people find such silent prayer to be deeply moving.
Wednesday Evening Tenebrae (March 28, 5:30pm): a service of readings and choral meditations on Christ’s passion. This dramatic service is marked by the extinguishing of candles after each set of readings with music, so that the lights dim until, representing Jesus’ death, we are in complete darkness. (Tenebrae means “shadows” or “darkening”). After the tolling of the mourning bell, the service concludes as a Christ candle is returned – a sign of our hope for the Easter to come, and all depart in silence.
Holy Week Services & Activities:
PALM SUNDAY, MARCH 25, services at 8:00 am, 10:30 am, and 5:30 pm, liturgy of the palms and reading of the Passion Narrative TENEBRAE, MARCH 28, 5:30 pm, a dramatic service of readings and music; MAUNDY THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 5:30 pm Holy Eucharist with Foot- Washing, Stripping of the Altar, and veneration of the- sacrament in The Garden of Repose; GOOD FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 12:00 pm Stations of the Cross; 5:30 pm Good Friday Liturgy with Eucharist from the reserved sacrament;
HOLY SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 7:00 pm, The Great Vigil of Easter (St. Peter’s hosts this year’s area gathering; the Rev. Lisa Fry of St. Thomas’ Camden will be the preacher; EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 1, Choral Festival Eucharist (ONE SERVICE ONLY) at 9:00 am, followed by the parish Easter Brunch; Easter Egg Hunt at 12:00 pm andEaster Community Meal at 12:30
Lenten Book Group – The rector will lead a series of discussions on Sundays in Lent (February 18 and 25, March 4, 11, and 18) based on Rowan Williams’ Being Disciples: the Essentials of the Christian Life. We will gather at noon on Sundays, share a bag lunch, and discuss the book. The former archbishop of Canterbury, Williams is an important theologian who here writes in a gentle, inviting, and pastoral style. This short, lovely book has been described as “the most beautiful writing on discipleship”. Copies are available for purchase or you can find them at your local library, bookstore, or online bookstore.
THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME. Shrove Tuesday Pancake Lunch – February 13th, from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Once again the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) are hosting a special Shrove Tuesday Pancake Lunch with pancakes, sausage, syrup, fruit and sherbet. Tickets are $8.00 for adults, $4.00 for children. Consider making a donation, too, so that someone who cannot afford the meal could join us. All are invited to this traditional feast before the season of Lent begins on Wednesday, February 14. The annual pancake luncheon is just one off many events hosted by the ECW to support community outreach activities.
Open and Free to the Public: a video tape delay of the Trinity Institute Conference on Values in Action. The better world we all seek requires discerning shared values to form powerful partnerships and then moving forward with courageous intention. Speakers include Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow; Pádraig Ó Tuama, whose most recent book In the Shelter explores the place of storytelling in peace making, presiding bishop Michael Curry, and others. Video sessions will be followed up with conversation/discussion. Snacks will be provided and we will share lunch with the Loaves & Fishes community. If you have special dietary needs, please feel free to bring your own brown bag lunch. Arrive when you can; leave when you must.
At our Annual Meeting January 18, the congregation formally welcomed the Rev. Corey Walmer, who is joining Jane Chatfield (a current deacon) as a second deacon for our parish: Corey has been worshipping with St. Peter’s for a number of weeks after relocating to the Rockland area. A therapist (LCSW) with a practice in Rockland, who also provides mental healthcare on Vinalhaven, Corey is a person of energy and enthusiasm, and we are delighted she will be joining us. She will begin serving in worship in January, is already a member of the Implementation Team for our Future Directions, and as we’ll soon see, likes to preach. Welcome Corey
Tuesday Evening Bible Study – meets in the Vestry Room at 6:00pm. Lee Karker is facilitating a series on the World and Letters of St. Paul. The study will include short videos, followed by discussion of scripture and history. This series can be joined at any time; no advance preparation is necessary. An outline of the series is available in the Narthex.
Tuesday Morning Bible Study – 9:00am group meets in the Parlor to review next Sunday’s lectionary readings. Drawn from such practices as Lectio Divina, Ignatian contemplation of Scripture, or what nowadays is sometimes called “Dwelling in the Word” (a practice used regularly by our Vestry). This way of reading invites the Spirit to speak through the Scriptures to you now and increases your own ability to notice and be moved by God through Scripture.
Lessons and Carols is a favorite Advent or Christmas service that combines the reading of nine scripture lessons from the Old and New Testament with choir anthems and congregational carol singing. St. Peter’s is offering the community the opportunity to participate in this traditional service (most famously associated with Kings Chapel, Oxford) on Sunday, December 17 at 5:30. This is a lovely and meaningful way to gain insight into Christian life – and we invite all spiritual sojourners to join in stepping aside from from the commercial frenzy of this season and into a vision of the just, compassionate and healed world that God wants for his creation.
December 5, 8, 19, 22 – 9:00 -10:30 a.m. Contemplative Prayer Workshop
– 7:30 pm, Christmas Eve, Carol Sing
– 8:00 pm, Christmas Eve, Festive Candlelight Eucharist with Choir
December 25 – 10:30am, Christmas Day, Festive Eucharist for the Nativity
– 12:30 pm Community Christmas Meal
December 31 — Christmas 1 with services at 8:00 and 10:30
January 6, 2018 – 5:30pm, Twelfth Night, Choral Feast of the Epiphany with Music, Sermon, Holy Eucharist and Reception following in the Parish Hall.