The Episcopal Church Calendar & Special  Services

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St. James is a liturgical church which means we follow a pattern of worship and reading

Scripture. 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 to prepare for the events of Holy Week and Easter. 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 and 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.

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.

Advent and Christmas:

  • The Outreach Committee sponsors a collection of toys and gift cards for People-to-People Ministries' Christmas Toy Project.

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

  • St. Nicholas visits on the Sunday closest to his feast day.

  • 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.

Epiphany:

  • After the second service on Epiphany Sunday, the congregation gathers for an Epiphany party featuring the traditional cake with hidden charms.  Whoever finds the ring charm is the host for next year's party! 

Lent:

  • 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.

  • There is an Easter egg hunt for the children after the Easter Sunday service.

St Nicholas Visit
St Nicholas Visit

St Nicholas visits and tells a story to the children.

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Nativity Scene
Nativity Scene

Figures are added to the Nativity throughout the Advent season.

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Candlelight Service
Candlelight Service

A candlelight service with traditional hymns is held on Christmas Eve.

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St Nicholas Visit
St Nicholas Visit

St Nicholas visits and tells a story to the children.

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Epiphany Cake Charms
Epiphany Cake Charms

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Epiphany Cake Charms
Epiphany Cake Charms

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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

The men of the parish serve up a delicious supper for Shrove Tuesday.

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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

The men of the parish serve up a delicious supper for Shrove Tuesday.

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Lenten Study Program
Lenten Study Program

Parishioners gather for a weekly Lenten study program.

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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

The men of the parish serve up a delicious supper for Shrove Tuesday.

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Great Vigil of Easter
Great Vigil of Easter

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Holy Week
Holy Week

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Easter Altar
Easter Altar

The sanctuary and altar are decorated with flowers and floral banners in celebration of Easter.

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Great Vigil of Easter
Great Vigil of Easter

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