Our Worship Program
In the words of Father Peter
At Saint Stephen’s, we want worship to be an experience with God in the intimacy of the Eucharist and prayers, and celebrated in an exquisitely beautiful place. And the beautiful place that is the sanctuary of Saint Stephen’s is where our worship is centered. Everything about the sanctuary space is open, accessible and welcoming, very much like Saint Stephen’s worship.
I. Our worship is grounded by a 12:15pm Eucharist service, Monday through Thursday. The Thursday service includes prayers, blessings and anointing for healing. For the most part, our weekday services celebrate holy women and holy men with stories, biographies and scripture readings drawn from the Episcopal Church’s lectionary of the saints and holy people, On a Great Cloud of Witnesses, a compendium with the stories of exemplary individuals to be read in services along with the lessons from scripture. Such holy women and men—some historical, some not martyrs or saints, and some of our own period--are intended to be models for the way we lead our everyday lives. The services at Saint Stephen’s build on that intent to further reflect on the significance of these special people for us in our own world as we seek to follow the Gospel.
II. At Saint Stephen’s, we believe that prayer, reflection and quiet are important elements especially of individual worship, so our church is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Thursday. While we encourage attendance at our daily 12:15 service, we also encourage people to come into the church during the daily hours it is open and be quiet for a few minutes, and to reflect, sit in repose and listen to their souls. Or maybe it’s just to sit and be enveloped and nourished by the peace and the presence of God.
III. Another part of our worship for 2018-2019 included three Prayer Services with Readings, one for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas Eve, and one for Good Friday.
IV. On Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019, the first day of Lent, we offered ashes and blessings from 7:30am to 5:30pm. We also formally opened and dedicated the Furness Burial Cloister, a commemorative space that integrates nine burial vaults for some of the church’s earliest parishioners within architect Frank Furness’ later addition that covered the entire south churchyard.