Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.
The Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple
A contemplative liturgy of wistful joy, the Feast of the Presentation ends the Christmas cycle. Of the various Christian holy days that take place throughout the year, Candlemas (or Candelaria) on February the second may be one of the least well-known ceremonies in the Christian world. Evangelical Protestants do not count it as a major observance, while Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches hold it in high esteem.
This year, the Mass will all be sung in Gregorian Chant by the Schola Cantorum, candles will be blessed (feel free to bring some candles from home to be blessed, if you wish), there will be a candlelight procession, and the liturgy will be celebrated in the style in which St. Mary's is known for.
The service is part of our continuing liturgical outreach ministry, On the Day of Celebration.
History of Candlemas
The celebration of Candlemas originated in the late fifth century as a tribute to the light of God's glory that was manifested in Christ Jesus. The earliest known observance within the Church was in the year AD 496, during the time of Pope Gelasius. In AD 542 the Emperor Justinian ordained that the Eastern Church celebrate the festival, which he called Hypapente, or "Meeting." The name was derived from the Gospel of Luke 2.22-40, wherein Simeon the priest and Anna the prophetess encountered the infant Jesus in the Temple at the time of his and his mother's purification. Simeon's prophecy declared Jesus to be the Lord's salvation and, "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." This passage continues to be the focus of the celebration.
During the Candlemas liturgy, candles are blessed, lit, and borne in a procession—celebrating Jesus as the light of the world. In AD 638, Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, proclaimed the importance of the celebration in his sermon to the church, statin, "Our bright shining candles are a sign of divine splendor of the one who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of his eternal light. Our candles also show how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ. " The candles are generally considered to represent the inner light of Christ, which he brought to share with the world.
Our Process for Preparing Adults for Baptism
If you are interested in being baptized, or confirmed, or to reaffirm your faith, or just find out more about how Christians for 2000 years have "grown in the knowledge and love of God," talk with Fr. Craig and then email Karen Dura at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know of your interest.
Our process for Inquirers and Catechumens (people who are preparing for Baptism at the Great Vigil of Easter) will begin during the Epiphany season.
A class for inquirers, people interested in joining St. Mary's and the Episcopal Church—and anyone wanting to learn more about the Anglican way.
The Anglican tradition is known for the way we honor the questions of Christian faith and life—it's a central part of our ethos and the way we approach our relationship with God. In this seven-week series, we will explore the Anglican approach to scripture, prayers, liturgy, music, and the sacraments as they have been received and celebrated in the Episcopal Church and here at St. Mary's.
In this class, we will honor God's gifts of reason, curiosity, discovery, doubt, and community by inviting conversation about deeply significant aspects of our lives. Join us, as we discover Life in Christ by Julia Gatta, and how a "liturgical faith" can lead us ever deeper in our knowledge and love of Christ our Lord.
Bishop Reddall will be with us on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, 19 March 2023 to Confirm and Receive parishioners into the Episcopal Church.
Episcopal 101 is a series of seven small-group encounters beginning the week of February 5, 2022. Email email@example.com to express your interest.
Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. by Zoom
Current study is the Epistle to the Hebrews. Read more here.
Children and Youth
Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
Lectionary-based Montessori-style learning and activities for children and youth are available during the Liturgy of the Word. Young people join the service during the Exchange of the Peace.
The Alms Fund :: Helping parishioners and others in immediate need
The number of people calling—or appearing at our doors—needing help with rent, water or electric or gas bills, food, auto repair, etc., has greatly increased since the height of the pandemic. These are tough times for many of us, and the Alms Fund is there to help...sometimes. You can help us help those who despair that their electricity will be cut off, or that they will be evicted, or that their children won't have the nourishment they need to grow and flourish, or they need a nice outfit in order to interview for a job, or...or...or...
You can help St. Mary's respond in ways Jesus commanded us to respond by donating to St. Mary's Alms Fund. Just write a check with a memo "Alms Fund," or if you make your donations electronically, you can designate an extra donation to St. Mary's with a similar memo.
Help us help St. Mary's People and many others in immediate need so they have time to seek longer term solutions. Thank you so very much!
Immigration is a complex and controversial issue with no easy answers. It relates to political notions such as territorial sovereignty, economic growth, and cultural identity, but also relates to Christian values of family relations. The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona Hispanic Ministries and Borderland Ministries invite you to join in a study of No Longer Strangers; Exploring Immigration Issues, a publication by Forward Movement. Participants will gather over Zoom for 4 weeks beginning in Februry to grow in awareness on what the Scriptures have to teach us about welcoming the stranger. Please contact Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
The Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts
Did you know that Saint Mary's has a membership in the artist's registry of Episcopal Church & Visual Arts? Their mission is to encourage artists and organizations to engage the visual arts in the spiritual life of the chruch. If you would like to receive email updates regarding news and exhibitions, please contact Karen in the church office (email@example.com) and she will add your address to the email distribution list. Find out more at ecva.org.
Commemorating Absalom Jones
Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church
6715 N. Mockingbird Lane, Scottsdale
Bl. (Blessed) Absalom Jones holds a special place in history as a pioneer in civil liberty and service. Born into slavery in Delaware in 1746, Jones purchased freedom for his family and began attending St. George’s Methodist Episcopal congregation which was, nominally, an interracial congregation. However, one Sunday, African American congregants were asked to move from their seats on the first floor to the upper balcony – where they would not be seen. Following this incident, Jones left the congregation but continued to be an active member of the Episcopal Church, going on to be ordained as the first African-American Episcopal priest.
Since his death on February 13, 1818, commemorating the Feast Day of Absalom Jones is one symbolic step we can take as a community toward ensuring that such treatment of African Americans – or any “other” group – is not only never repeated but that we proactively and continuously course-correct to avoid it, always striving to improve equality, fairness and representation for all people.
A celebration of Jones’s Feast Day will take place at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church, 6715 N Mockingbird Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85253 on Saturday, February 18, 2:00 p.m. The service of liturgy and Holy Eucharist is hosted by The Karl and Virginia Washington Arizona Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, in partnership with the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Arizona.
The Rt. Rev. Jennifer A. Reddall, sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Arizona, will preside over the service, with a message from guest preacher the Rev. Vanessa MacKenzie, who grew up in Johannesburg under apartheid. Music by Saint Barnabas featuring Ms. Jackie Island of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Phoenix who will sing “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”
Questions? Contact Br. Lee Hughes, OP at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Are Welcome.
Sign Up for Diocesan News
The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona publishes a weekly email news letter—which includes thoughts about a variety of topics by Bishop Reddall—and a quarterly magazine. These are free to anyone in our congregation who wishes to receive them. All you have to do is sign up!
Just enter azdiocese.org/newsletter/ in your web browser and follow the link. These are excellent ways to keep abreast of happenings around the diocese and the larger church.
Subscribe to our email list for once-a-week announcements, reflections, and news items from St. Mary's. It's a great way to stay in touch with what's happening around the parish!