Special Services

Blessing of the Animals

The Church of the Holy Trinity welcomes all creatures great and small to receive a blessing on Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. in the church yard on Clinton Street. Our priest will conduct a brief service and bless each animal individually. St. Francis medals will be distributed to owners and there will be refreshments for both humans and animals.

After the service, pets can line up for the Pet Parade. Parking is available in the Clinton Street lot opposite the Parish Hall. Call 863-0505 if you have any questions.

The Blessing of the Animals service is usually attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is Oct. 4. St. Francis called all created things his brothers and sisters. There is also evidence that an early church father, St. Anthony of the Desert, began blessing animals in the 3rd or 4th century and some Roman Catholic churches held similar services on his feast day. Whenever it started, the ceremony is held in grateful recognition of the services given to the human race by animals and the special place they hold in our hearts.

 

Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday (also known as Shrovetide Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and Pancake Day) is the day proceeding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is determined by Easter; its date changes annually.

The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “confess.” Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. The term Mardi Gras is french for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

Holy Trinity invites everyone to joins us as we begin Lent. Our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17 in the Parish Hall. Come and enjoy pancakes, sausage and fellowship.

 

Ash Wednesday Liturgy

Our Ash Wednesday Proper Liturgy will be Wednesday, February 18, Holy Communion with Imposition of Ashes at 7:00 p.m.

For Christians, Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent on the church calendar, a 40-day period of reflection, fasting, and repentance. It prepares the Christian faithful for the Easter Sunday celebration of Christ’s resurrection and underscores the belief that they will also rise one day because He is their Savior and they have been redeemed.

Christians follow the example of those in the Old Testament, who did penance for their sins by wearing sackcloth and ashes. On Ash Wednesday, their foreheads are marked with ashes in the form of a cross as a reminder that our life her on earth is transitory, and to help them develop a true spirit of sacrifice and humility in their daily lives. In the Episcopal church, as the ashes are imposed, the priest says either, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”, or “Remember man that your are dust, and unto dust you will return”. This reminds the congregation of their humanity and mortality as Lent begins, and the ashes are an ancient symbol of humility, sorrow and repentance in man’s relationship with God.

Holy Week Services

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and leads us to the Sunday of the Resurrection or Easter. It is the final week in the life of Jesus before the crucifixion beginning with Palm Sunday leading us to the resurrection on Easter.

The rites or services for Holy Week are ancient and by nature different from the liturgical celebrations of the rest of the Church Year. They are meant to be different in order to focus the attention of the people on the mysteries being celebrated in this sacred and most holy time.

There may be as many as five services during Holy Week- The Liturgy of the Palms on Palm Sunday or the Sunday of the Passion, Tenebrae on Wednesday, Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Often just two are usually observed- Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday

In this service the church remembers Christ’s institution of the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. In remembrance of our Lord’s washing of the feet of his disciples, the washing of feet may be a part of this service. The name Maundy is a shortened form either of the word commandment or the Latin word mandatum novum meaning “new commandment”; associated with The gospel reading for this service where Jesus says to his disciples: “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” As this celebration of the Eucharist is the last until Easter, extra bread and wine is consecrated to be reserved for the Good Friday service. At the end of this service the altar is stripped, crosses are removed, all to create a sense of starkness. The congregation may remain in silent prayer for a moment and then leave church quietly, prayerfully.

Good Friday

In this service we recall the crucifixion of Jesus. There is a reading of the lengthy Passion narrative from John’s Gospel, intercessory prayers called the Solemn Collects and Anthems recalling the significance of the cross. No Eucharist is celebrated on this day. The altar is bare, without linens or frontals. There are no candles, all crosses are removed. A single candle will burn to signify the sacramental presence. Communion may be part of the Good Friday liturgy, but it is administered from the reserved sacrament. Again, at the end of the service, the people leave church prayerfully and quietly.