Upcoming Worship Services
Sunday, December 12, 2021The Third Sunday Of Advent (Gaudete)
The Third Sunday Of Advent (Gaudete)Gaudete literally means "rejoice," for the Lord is coming! And so on this Sunday you'll notice that the Advent purple gives way to a splash of rose. The frontal on the altar changes, the vestments of the clergy change, there are flowers, and the third candle‚ a rose one‚ is lit on the advent wreath. All of this is a bit of joy breaking into what is otherwise a penetential season. After today we return to purple for the remainder of Advent. During Lent, we observe a similar break in the midst of a pentential season. It is known as Lataere Sunday, which also means "rejoice." It is always celebrated on the Fourth Sunday in Lent.
Stir up thy power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let thy bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honor and glory, world without end. Amen.
Sunday, December 12, 2021 @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, December 19, 2021The Fourth Sunday Of Advent
The Fourth Sunday Of Advent
At Saint Thomas, we keep the propers for the Fourth Sunday of Advent at the 8am and 9am services. As such, the appointed collect and lessons follow the lectionary, and the sermon corresponds. Therefore, if you seek a traditional Fourth Sunday of Advent service, consider attending at 8am (said) or 9am (sung).
At 11am and 4pm, we offer Lessons and Carols. The 4pm service is the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and it does not include a Mass. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is repeated on Christmas Eve at 4pm.
We beseech thee, Almighty God, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation, that when thy Son Jesus Christ cometh he may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, December 19, 2021 @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, December 26, 2021Saint Stephen
There are several noteworthy details about the martyrdom of Stephen. Stephen was one of a group of the first Deacons in the Church who were called and ordained to minister to the poor widows, so that the apostles could continue their presiding ministry of preaching. Yet Stephen wound up making a speech for Christ to his fellow Jews that cost him his life. He pulled no punches. Neither did his opponents, who seized him to stone him to death. Stephen then cried out as he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Many writers have commented that the Lord was seen standing (rather than seated) because he identified with Stephen as his first martyr/witness. The identification with Jesus continues, because Stephen, as he died, prayed the Lord to forgive his killers and then commended his spirit to Jesus just as the Lord had done to the Father.
One other detail is the presence of the young man who consented to Stephen’s death and kept the garments of those who stoned him, the man named Saul. He is none other than Saint Paul the Apostle before his conversion. Saul had not apparently known Jesus in the flesh but was a leading persecutor of the Church. Perhaps, when Saul was struck blind on the Damascus Road, when Christ revealed himself to him, perhaps the voice of the risen Lord sounded like Stephen’s: ‚ÄúSaul, Saul, why do you persecute me?‚Äù Or perhaps like a harmony of the voices of all those Saul had hurt or imprisoned. Felix Mendelssohn’s beautiful oratorio, Paulus, uses a female chorus for this line, perhaps reflecting Christ speaking through the whole Church.
We give the thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of thefirst martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to thy Son Jesus Christ, who standeth at thy right hand; where he liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Sunday, December 26, 2021 @ 11:00 AM