Christmas (originally “Christ’s Mass”) is the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is preceded by a four week period of preparation and anticipation called Advent. At St. Paul’s we keep the first three Sundays as a time of waiting for the birth of Christ. But on the fourth Sunday we anticipate the feast day with a morning service of carols and the story of Jesus’ birth. On Christmas Eve we offer several opportunities to worship, two of which feature our choir and guest musicians. We also have a quiet service on December 25th in the morning.
Holy Week is the week preceding Easter and the final week of Lent. During Holy Week, Christians commemorate the Passion of Christ, who died on Good Friday and rose on Easter Sunday to give new life to all who believe. Thus, while Holy Week is solemn and sorrowful, it also anticipates the joy of Easter through the recognition of God’s goodness in sending Jesus to us. On Palm Sunday morning the congregation carry palms in a procession commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. On Thursday night we celebrate the Last Supper in which Jesus gave us the sacrament of holy communion. We also remember his betrayal by symbolically stripping the worship area. On Good Friday, in an afternoon service, we remember his death. On Saturday night we anticipate the resurrection with a candle-lit service and conclude the night with a Resurrection Party.
Rock ‘n Soul
Rock ‘n Soul at St. Paul’s is an informal praise service that utilizes a variety of instruments, including drums, piano, guitars and a harmonica. Songs tend to be either a faster version of a traditional hymn or folk/worship songs with a contemporary bent and are led by a praise choir. The service time is between forty-five minutes to an hour and includes Scripture, prayer and a reflection. We do Rock ‘n Soul on occasional Sunday evenings.
Jazz Vespers is a new take on an old service. The evening service of Vespers has roots extending into the worship life of the Jewish people. Our tradition has molded and shaped these forms of worship and prayer through an evolutionary process that is both faithful to our heritage and open to creating new traditions of praise. Jazz itself gives voice to the hopes, dreams, frustrations and pain of the human experience. Jazz Vespers at St. Paul’s is a forty-five minute service held on occasional Sundays in the early evening and includes prayers, reflection, candle-lighting and jazz performed by a small ensemble.