S. Stephen's Church
in Providence
"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." (Acts 7:56)
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
21 February 20210
Lorenzo Scott, Baptism of Jesus, 1987, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.
Kalendar and Readings
THE LAST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY (Year B)


Click the readings above for links to the RSV
Music
Organ: Choral “Erbarm dich mein, O Herre Gott” BWV 721, J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750)

Mass: Missa III (Kyrie Deus sempiterne), Plainchant

Psalm 25, Ad te, Domine, levavi, Tone I

Organ: Canzona in d-moll, BWV 588, J.S. Bach
A Word from the Rector
Dear People of God:
 
So our exhortation to the keeping of a Holy Lent began just a couple days ago… “Dear People of God.” And that is who we are – the people of God, journeying through this Lenten wilderness together, and together we will arrive at the glorious joy of Easter. But we have before us the next several weeks to navigate together first.
 
Like many of you, (this comes with being an ardent Anglo-Catholic), I am suspicious of “innovation” in the liturgy. Part of what makes good liturgy is its predictability and stability – it is something which in its rhythms and cadences grounds us in our corporate worship. That being said, there are obvious changes throughout the year, meant to highlight or emphasize the nature of the liturgical season.
 
Since chanting the Great Litany in procession would not be possible to capture with our livestreaming capabilities, and the medium of livestreaming does tend to favor brevity and concision, we will forgo that beloved tradition this year. In its place, we will begin Mass on the Sundays in Lent with the Penitential Rite, including the Decalogue (the liturgical use of the Ten Commandments). This is an option in both the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, as well as in the Anglican Service Book. The Confession used during this opening Penitential Rite will also be new (or very familiar!) to our ears and lips, as it is the prayer of confession taken from Morning Prayer. For those of you who have been Episcopalians for a long time, and possibly recall when Morning Prayer was often the principal service in most parishes, this Confession will actually be familiar, and perhaps feel like revisiting an old friend.
 
Why are we adopting these small changes for the next several weeks? Quite simply, it is to get us to pay attention and to take us out of our familiar patterns. Just as some of us will alter our behavior and give up certain things during Lent to draw our attention to God and our dependence upon him, so too can small seasonal changes to our common liturgical life help to focus our attention anew in the Mass, and help us to enter more deeply into a certain aspect of the liturgical season we find ourselves in.
 
May God bless our Lenten journey.
 
Faithfully,
Fr. Benjamin+
Update on worship at S. Stephen's
We are still closed to in-person worship, with the exception of those who participate directly in creating the livestream liturgy. However, the positivity rate of COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island has declined in recent weeks, and if that trend continues we have reason to believe that we can soon resume the kind of in-person worship we practiced in the autumn months. While this is welcome news, we cannot say with certainty what that date will be. Please continue to pray for our state and local communities, and pray that the spread of this virus may abate, so that we may gather together once again in our beloved sacred space.
Zoom Coffee Hour
Join us for Virtual "Coffee Hour" via Zoom after Mass this Sunday at 11:30 by clicking here. A reminder that these Zoom gatherings are now on First and Third Sundays of the month only (and the occasional rare Fifth Sunday).
Multiple Parish Lenten Study
Four historic Anglo-Catholic parishes (St. Stephen's, St. John's Newport, St. Paul's Brooklyn, St. Thomas' in Toronto) are joining forces to offer a special Wednesdays in Lent series at 7 p.m. each week via Zoom. "The Eucharist in a time of Pandemic: Sacramental Theology for when you cannot receive the Sacrament," will begin on Wednesday, February 24 and run for five sessions through Wednesday, March 24. Please register for the event at this link: once you register, Zoom information will be sent to you.

Wednesday, 24 February
Foundations in Scripture with Fr. D'Angelo & John Lord
What are the Biblical roots of the Eucharist?
Wednesday, 3 March
Patristic Development with Fr. D'Angelo & Fr. Humphrey
How did the Church Fathers interpret the Biblical Witness?
Wednesday, 10 March
Medieval Unfolding with Fr. Straley & Fr. Ogburn
Amidst the Black Death, how was the Eucharist understood and practiced?
Wednesday, 17 March
Reformation Response with Fr. Ogburn & Fr. Humphrey
What lasting insights did the English Reformation impart?
Wednesday, 24 March
Anglo-Catholic Synthesis with Fr. Humphrey & Team Faculty  
How does Anglo-Catholic theology and practice promise life in the midst of death?
Volunteers for Sunday Masses
We are seeking people to serve as lectors and camera operators during our Sunday masses. If you are interested and are comfortable being socially distanced in the church with others, please write to the office at office@sstephens.necoxmail.com or by phone at 401.421.6702: training is available. Thank you to all who have and continue to fill these positions.
Giving to St. Stephen's
You can mail your pledge card or weekly/monthly offering to the church office, or pledge online here. Thank you for all the many ways in which you are already supporting S. Stephen’s. 
For your Prayers
Prayers have been requested for: Carmen Alba, Patti Barnes, Lola Campagna, Ruby Campagna, the Rev. Norman Catir, Diana Clarke, Sarah Clarke, Grace Deneault, Harrington Gordon, Joan Gordon, Barbara Hartford, Rev. Jay C. James, Conrad Johnson, Ann Brooke Mason, Beverly Myers, Beverly Ryan, Rhoda Steinhart, Crystal Sylver, and Christopher Whittingham.

Birthdays this week: Bradin Anderson (2/25), Florence Friedman (2/27).

The faithful departed: Recently Departed: James Howley. Year's mind: Rev. Thomas W. Philips (2/21), Dorothy Belden (2/23), Pierre Angers (2/23), Francis John Baronie (2/24), Barbara Albee (2/26).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Church of the Province of Central Africa. In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for all deacons as they make Christ and his redemptive love known to the world.
This Week at St. Stephen's
EVENTS THIS WEEK

Wednesday 24 February
"The Eucharist in a time of Pandemic: Multi-Parish Lenten Study"
7 pm

Saturday 27 February
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE
All Services Streamed on our Facebook Page

Sunday 21 February
THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
Sung Mass 10:00 am
Zoom Coffee Hour 11:30 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary

Monday 22 February
Monday in the first week of Lent
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 23 February
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr, c. 155
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 24 February
SAINT MATTHIAS
Sung Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 25 February
Thursday in the first week of Lent
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Friday 26 February
Friday after Ash Wednesday
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 27 February
George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10:00 am

Next Sunday
THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
Sung Mass 10:00 am