Worship for Sunday, April 5 2020

Dear Saint Stephen’s Church Friends and Family,

I want to share with you a wonderful opportunity that we all can participate in. Sunday morning, April 5th at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Palms live-streamed from the National Cathedral. Dennie and I will watch the service from our computers and we hope you will do so as well. This is a way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below by 11:15am Sunday morning, and it should take you to the service.

Holy Eucharist from the National Cathedral
Live-streaming
Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 11:15am

In lieu of palms, if you are able, place a green branch or some kind of leafy green or draw some palms and place them on your door, in a window, or somewhere in your home that would be meaningful and significant for you. Email us a photo of your palm creation (with you and your family in it!).

Gospel Reading

If you wish to listen and watch members from St. Stephen’s read the Passion Gospel in parts: 

My homily 

My Storybook Reading for Kids 

Other Events and Activities

Free Online Concert from the Washington Cathedral – Mozart’s Requiem – tomorrow, Sunday, April 5, 4 pm – Join us for an encore online presentation of last year’s Palm Sunday performance of Mozart’s Requiem, as we enter the drama and emotion of Holy Week. Featuring the Cathedral Choir and Baroque Orchestra. .  Just click here

Make Holy Week Special for Your Family – Church Publishing Company has provided a free download of Holy Week Resources for families.  It includes activities for each day of Holy Week.  You’ll find prayers and reflections, drawings and coloring activities, recipes and stories.  Just click here

Parish Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning of Holy Week join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the link)

A Night Vigil Kept at Home – We are inviting parishioners to devote from home one hour for prayer, meditation, and devotion, beginning the evening of Maundy Thursday, April 9th and concluding at 9:00am Good Friday morning. If this is something you can do, please email us and let us know what hour of the night you intend to take. Our goal is to have a full watch across the parish by people volunteering from home for one hour. Could you not stay awake with me one hour? (Matthew 26:40b)

The Labyrinth – During this time of social distancing, we attach a picture of St. Stephen’s labyrinth.  Many enjoy glancing at the courtyard labyrinth during coffee hour.  The kids playing on it.  For some, the labyrinth is a tool for prayer.  Some walk the circuitous path outside; for others the path can be traced with a finger or pencil or even imagine doing so. The circuitous path can be viewed as a metaphor for life.  Sometimes the path ahead looks clear; other times there are unexpected twists and turns. We find ourselves now at that point, a time of not knowing when the pandemic will end.  Just the other day, the Presiding Bishop encouraged us to “reach out for the hand of God and then the hand of the other – at social distancing.”  Together we journey through the days of this most holy week.  An attachment of image of St. Stephen’s labyrinth is included in this email.

The Way of the Cross Leads Home – The Stations of the Cross began in the days of the early Church when pilgrims would journey to Jerusalem to retrace the final steps taken by Jesus Christ.  Later, for the many who could not make the trip to the Holy Land, the practice developed of praying the Stations of the Cross at one’s home church or perhaps at a nearby shrine.  In this Holy Week of social distancing, we provide a Stations for Home, using the same images we hang during lent in the church. Just click here

Our Holy Week goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

This year’s Holy Week and Easter may just be the most significant and meaningful we will ever experience. 

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+

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