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The Episcopal Church Calendar &
Special  Services

St. James is a liturgical church which means we follow a pattern of worship and reading Scripture. Throughout the year, our readings from Scripture are laid out in the Revised Common Lectionary. The joy of the lectionary is that anyone can know what is being read each Sunday, regardless of what Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist or Roman Catholic Church they attend. The readings are never at the whim of the clergy person.

  • The church year begins with the four-week season of Advent, which is a time of joyful expectation of the birth of Jesus.

  • Christmastide follows and is celebrated for twelve days. 

  • The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th each year to remember the light of Christ reaching the gentiles, thus becoming universal.

  • There is a period of ordinary time until we get to Lent, which is a time of self-reflection and devotion when we perform special acts of discipline.

  • Holy Week is the only time of year that multiple special services are celebrated during the week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. These are followed by the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection at the Great Vigil of Easter and, of course, Easter Day.

  • Unlike in the secular world, Easter is celebrated for 50 days.

  • The Easter season concludes with the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples were given the gift of the Holy Spirit and began preaching in multiple languages so everyone could hear the mighty acts of God through Jesus.

  • The season following, is the longest in the church year, and is called Ordinary time. Its focus is on the life of the church and hearing of Jesus’s teaching and miracles.

Advent and Christmas:

  • The Outreach Committee sponsors or participates in seasonal events like the Interfaith Alternative Gift Market.

  • Members of the congregation ring the bell for the Salvation Army.

  • Each Sunday in Advent, a new figure is added to our historic nativity scene in front of the altar.

  • A candlelight service is held on Christmas Eve and features traditional hymns.


  • After the service on Epiphany Sunday, the congregation gathers for an Epiphany party featuring a traditional three kings cake.  Whoever finds the charm hidden in the cake is the king or queen for the day. 


  • The men of the parish host an annual pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday. 

  • The Season of Lent begins with services on Ash Wednesday.

  • Throughout the Lenten season, we gather for simple soup suppers and a weekly lenten study program.

  • Original artwork depicting Jesus on the day of his crucifixion is hung in the church and everyone is encouraged to pray the Stations of the Cross.

Holy Week and Easter:

  • Holy week begins on Palm Sunday with the reading of The Passion. 

  • Holy Week continues with special services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and The Great Vigil of Easter.

  • The minimalist Lenten decorations are removed from the church and replaced with beautiful flowers and hand-painted floral banners in celebration of Easter Sunday.

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