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)
22 November 2020
Detail of a stained-glass triptych, depicting Christ as Emporer. Window installed at Annunciation Melkite Cathedral, Boston, Massachusettes.
Click the readings above for links to the RSV
Organ: Cantilène improvisée, Charles Tournemire (1876 - 1939), transcribed by Maurice Duruflé, (1902 - 1986)

Mass: Service of Holy Communion, Edward C. Bairstow (1874 - 1946)

Psalm: Psalm 95: 1-7, Venite Exultemus

Te Deum: Ambrosian Chant, Solemn Tone

Organ: Improvisation sur le "Te Deum", Tournemire, trans. Duruflé
A Word From Fr. Benjamin
Dear beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I think that when this pandemic first began to disrupt our lives back in March, we thought it would last a couple of weeks, then a couple of months – and then just a few more. Then we began the process of “bargaining” – at least we can be back in Church by Advent and Christmas, we thought to ourselves.

We are fortunate that we were able to gather safely for a time during the late summer and early fall months. However, it does indeed appear that Christmas will not look the way we would prefer it to this year. Just as Jesus’s first coming among us, hidden within the womb of Mary, was quiet and lacking in fanfare (save a chorus of angels to a few shepherds in the field), perhaps our Christmas this year will have that quality of subdued quiet – the message of the angels falling upon our ears in remote fields, instead of thunderous peals and resounding singing within the walls of S. Stephen’s.

While I do not know what the coming weeks will ultimately bring, I do find that Advent is a liturgical season characterized by quiet expectancy, hope, watching, and waiting – dare I say, longing. These are emotions and spiritual postures which I think all of us would do well to live into this Advent: it would appear we may have no other choice, as the current situation has made those qualities a requisite part of our daily lives.

We can explore those themes together in the coming weeks in a series of daily meditations which you can read more about below, in our Lessons & Carols service, and our other livestreamed services. As we enter into Advent, and closer and closer to Christmas, I encourage us all to watch for signs of our Lord’s coming; remembering how he came to dwell among us 2,000 years ago, how he will come again with great glory, and – perhaps most importantly for us in this present moment – how he comes to us daily, even now, if we will only see and hear him.

Yours in the love of our Coming Lord and Savior,
Fr. Benjamin +
Stewardship Update
As we conclude our stewardship season, the Rector, Vestry, and Stewardship Committee wish to thank everyone for what has been a successful pledge campaign. If you have not made your pledge yet, it is not too late! We will ask God’s blessing upon our pledge offerings this Sunday at Mass, which are of course symbolic of our lives – our love, our talent, and our labor – given to the glory of God for the life of the world.
Daily Advent Meditations
With the recent closure of our doors to in-person worship, it is vital that we stay connected throughout the coming weeks, particularly as we journey through one of the most beautiful liturgical seasons leading up to Christmas. S. Stephen’s will be sending out a daily Advent meditation each day of Advent (aside from Sundays) via Constant Contact. These emails will contain a short reflection on a piece of Scripture or themes of Waiting, Watching, and Expectation. As we prepare to open our hearts for our coming Lord and Savior, this will be a wonderful way to open our hearts to each other while unable to gather physically.
Lessons and Carols
On Sunday, December 13, 4:00 pm (please note the change from previous weeks) S. Stephen’s will premiere a Lessons & Carols service comprised of parishioners reading the lessons from their homes and music coming from S. Stephen’s. It will be a wonderful and cheery way for us to stay connected and celebrate the season, even while physically distanced as we approach the Christmas Holiday. Zoom “Hot Cider” gathering to follow.
Sunday Livestreams
We have begun using a new streaming app for our Sunday 10:00 Mass. One thing we are unable to do is link to the Facebook “event” that we were previously creating, but if you go to our Facebook page you can easily see that we are going live and it should come up in your feed. We are working on making a way to connect the live stream to the specific “event” – please be patient as we work out those kinks!
What is Anglo-Catholicism Series: Coming in January
Once we have moved past the Advent and Christmas season, the Rector will offer a series (via Zoom) that explores some of the questions raised about what it means to be Anglo-Catholic and examine the “why’s” of certain practices. This course will likely be offered on Wednesday evenings.
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: Patti Barnes, Charles Calverley, Sandra Calverley, Lola Campagna, Ruby Campagna, the Rev. Norman Catir, Vinnie Ciummo, Diana Clarke, Sarah Clarke, Harrington Gordon, Joan Gordon, Phebe Hodson, James Howley, Hunter Jacobs, the Rev. Jay C. James, Conrad Johnson, Ann Brooke Mason, Beverly Myers, Tom Oakes, Angela Rose, Beverly Ryan, Rhoda Steinhart, Crystal Sylver, Jeanette White, and Christopher Whittingham.
The faithful departed: Year’s Mind: Susan Rose James (11/23), Frederick Corcoran (11/24), and Charles Rose (11/25).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Church of Bermuda, The Rt. Rev. Nicholas Dill, Bishop of Bermuda. In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Clergy and People of St. Andrew’s, Little Compton, and the leadership and students of St. Andrew’s School, Barrington.
This Week at St. Stephen's
Tuesday 24 November
Budget Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm (via Zoom)

Saturday 28 November
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

All Services Streamed on our Facebook Page

Sunday 22 November
Sung Mass and Te Deum 10:00 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary: Proper 27, Year Two

Monday 23 November
Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c. 100
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 24 November
Columbanus, Abbot of Luxeuil and Bobbio, 615
Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs at Rome, c. 304
Chrysogonus, Martyr at Aquileia, c. 304
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 25 November
James O.S. Huntington, Monk, Founder of the Order of the Holy Cross, 1935
Catherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th cent.
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 26 November
Thanksgiving Day
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10:00 am

Friday 27 November
No Livestreamed Mass This Day

Saturday 28 November
Kamehameha and Emma, King and Queen of Hawaii, 1864, 1885
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10:00 am

Next Sunday
Sung Mass 10:00 AM