Episcopal Church 101: Inquirer’s Classes – Scripture, Reason and Tradition

Episcopal Church 101: Inquirer’s Classes – Scripture, Reason and Tradition

Fr. Matt will host an informational meeting on Wednesday, April 11, following the 5:30 p.m. Eucharist (around 6:15 pm) in the Church for anyone interested in learning more about the Episcopal Church.  These classes will be structured for those who are curious: people who are new to the Episcopal Church, new to Epiphany, interested in baptism, confirmation or reception, as well as those eager to learn more about the Episcopal Church. Newcomers and regulars alike will explore Christian Discipleship: what it means and why it matters.  Our essential question will be: what might it mean to join this Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement, and how might God be calling me to be a voice for justice and compassion in my neighborhood? Together we will study scripture, learn form our past and present, and prayerfully listen for what God may be up to in our lives. Dates and times for the class will be determined based on what is most convenient to the group. Hope to see you...
Holy Week at Epiphany

Holy Week at Epiphany

Holy Week is believed to have developed in Jerusalem in the fourth century. The Easter Vigil was already in existence and the combination of heightened interest in Christian history, the construction of churches on sacred sites in the Holy Land, and the influx of pilgrims to Jerusalem for Easter produced a series of services that became Holy Week. These services were held in Jerusalem on the “original” sites as indicated in the Gospels. It was from Jerusalem that the pilgrims took these services home and adapted them into the liturgical cycle in their own churches. In the Middle Ages the Crusaders brought back with them the Stations of the Cross. Below you will find a description of all the services which The Church of the Epiphany will celebrate during Holy Week. I pray that you and your family may observe several or all the services being offered, in order to commemorate the Paschal Mystery, that is, the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. ~Fr. Matt   March 25: The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday Eucharist: 8 and 10:30 a.m. –The Liturgy for Palm Sunday is in two parts.   The Liturgy of the Palms celebrates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to accomplish his Paschal Mystery. The second part of the liturgy changes from triumph to tragedy as it focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus. During this liturgy, and in days that follow, we are given the opportunity to remember in ever new and deeper ways what God has done for God’s people.    March 26 & 27: On Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week, Epiphany will celebrate Evening Prayer in the Church at 6:00 p.m.   March 28: On Wednesday of Holy Week, the Eucharist with Unction...
Advent 2017 How to Prepare for Christmas

Advent 2017 How to Prepare for Christmas

Mark your calendars! On Thursday, December 7th, beginning at 6 p.m., the Rev. Scott Bullock from First United Methodist Church, New Iberia, will give a presentation on “How to Prepare for Christmas.” The liturgical season of Advent is the Christian’s way to prepare for Christmas. Rev. Scott Bullock will teach us some very practical ways we can engage in some serious preparations for Christmas, and in the process, perhaps catch some of that “Christian Spirit.”   The Vestry, in conjunction with the Faith & Fun Committee, is inviting everyone to participate in Epiphany’s Pot Luck and Presentations, which will be a new way for us to engage in Adult Christian Formation. My hope is that we will have four or five offerings of this nature throughout the course of the year.  Come and be a part of this new beginning in Adult Christian Formation here at...
DIME: Delving Into the Mystery of the Eucharist

DIME: Delving Into the Mystery of the Eucharist

DIME: Delving Into the Mystery of the Eucharist – Children & Eucharist At what age should my child receive Communion? This is a question many parents ask as they are striving to raise their children in the Episcopal Church. Once we are baptized, regardless of our age, we are welcome to receive Communion. Our Book of Common Prayer (p. 858) indicates that, at the time of Baptism, we receive the inward and spiritual grace of union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family (the Church), forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit. Once a child is born into God’s family, that child is welcome to participate in Communion. This represents a change for many of us as parents since we may have had to wait until Confirmation or other instructional opportunities before taking our first Communion. What caused this shift? The General Convention of 1970 resolved that “children might be admitted to communion before confirmation.” In 1971, the House of Bishops stated, “Confirmation should not be regarded as a procedure of admission to the Holy Communion.” How does my child learn about the Eucharist? First and foremost, children learn from attending church. Here they can see and be a part of the service and begin to understand the sacrament they are seeing. Additionally, from your actions and discussions with your child, he/she sees that Communion is important and that participating in Communion is something you do on a regular basis. Children recognize your reverence at the altar from your body language (kneeling, placing your hands one over the other). For them to...
The Great Vigil of Easter

The Great Vigil of Easter

April 16: The Great Vigil of Easter – St. Augustine first introduced the phrase, “The Paschal Mystery.”   One theologian describes the Paschal Mystery as the saving event by which God in all times and in all places saves the human race. Epiphany will celebrate the Easter Vigil with a Sunrise Service beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning. During the Easter Vigil, we recount the following sequence of events.   *The kindling of the new fire and the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) Candle. *The recounting of Passover/Exodus from Egypt, and the entrance into the Promised Land. *The service of Baptism and renewal of our own Baptismal vows. *The First Joyful Eucharist of Easter.   Following the Easter Vigil, Epiphany will celebrate Easter with a delicious breakfast. We will then conclude our three great days of celebrating the Paschal Mystery with the 10:30 a.m. Easter Sunday Eucharist during which the children flower the cross of our redemption. After the service, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt and refreshments for both the children and adults. Since Maundy Thursday, we have been involved in an extended liturgy which is brought to conclusion at Epiphany’s principle service. This is the day of the Passover of Christ from death into life. It is also the celebration of our own pass-over in Holy Baptism, in which “we were buried with Christ in his death and raised with him into new life.” Fr....
Observance of Holy Week

Observance of Holy Week

The Book of Common Prayer issues the following invitation: “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (p. 265). I hope the invitation to observe a Holy Lent has born much fruit in your lives this sacred season. Soon we will be preparing to celebrate the high feast days in the Episcopal Church’s liturgical year or Holy Week. In order to mark these days as special, I have scheduled various prayers for every day of holy week. Please refer to the Holy Week Schedule to see what is scheduled each day of the week. For your convenience, all of the evening services are scheduled at 6:00 p.m. The exceptions are Good Friday when Epiphany will pray The Way of the Cross at 12:15 p.m. (in addition to the principle service at 6:00 p.m.), and the Holy Saturday Prayer Service which will take place at 10:00 a.m. May your participation in the drama of Holy Week fill you with abounding love, joy and peace. Fr. Matt April 9: The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday – The Liturgy for Palm Sunday is in two parts.   *The Liturgy of the Palms celebrates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. *The second part of the liturgy changes from triumph to tragedy as it focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus. During this week, we will rediscover what God has done for us, rediscover the meaning of our Baptism as well as what it means to share...