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)
29 November 2020
Il Giudizio Universale (The Last Judgement) (1536-1541.)
Michelangelo (1475 - 1564,) Sistine Chapel, Vatican City.
Click the readings above for links to the RSV
Organ: Choral, Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659, J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750)

Mass: Missa XVII, In Dominicis Adventus et Quadragesime

Offertory Antiphon: Ad te levavi, Tone II

Communion Antiphon: Dominus dabit, Tone I

Organ: Choral, Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland, BWV 661, Bach
A Word From Fr. Benjamin
Dear beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

A new liturgical year is upon us! We are saying farewell to the long stretch of time "after Pentecost," and we will not see green in our vestments or liturgical appointments again until January 7th (the day after the Epiphany). Of course, we will see green in other areas, particularly the Advent Wreath and other greens which may adorn our parish and our homes as we move closer and closer toward Christmas.

In normal times, we might have gathered in the guild hall after mass this coming Sunday to assemble Advent wreathes to take back to our homes. In this time of COVID, I hope that you will still take the time to mark this season in various ways. If you do not have an Advent wreath, you can still light a candle and remember our Lord and Savior who is the Light of the World, and whose Light could not and cannot ever be overcome by the Darkness. As we enter shorter and shorter daylight hours, and perhaps some darker days if the number of COVID cases rises as is predicted, I hope you will remember that the Light of Christ can never be extinguished, just as our faith cannot be dimmed even by these trying times.

If you need a prayer to accompany the lighting of your candle, I commend to your use the Collect for the First Sunday of Advent -- one of blessed Thomas Cranmer's finest pieces of liturgical prose (although borrowing from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans!):

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

If you do not have a Prayer Book at home, please reach out to me and arrange to stop by the church safely and pick one up. Maintaining our prayers and traditions in certain seasons is as important as ever, especially as we are unable to gather in person.

Finally, though we do not think of Advent as a time when we might give up something or take on a discipline as we might do in Lent, I still think of it as a useful time of preparation as we journey towards Christmas. As I ponder the silent growth of Jesus within the womb of Mary, I start to wonder what new growth and what new manifestations of Jesus are waiting to be born within me and within the Church, even if they are hushed and hidden for the time being. That, friends, is something worthy of all our prayers and meditations these next few weeks.

Yours in the love of our Coming Lord and Savior,
Fr. Benjamin +
Zoom Coffee Hour:
11:30, this Sunday
Join us for Virtual "Coffee Hour" via Zoom after Mass this Sunday by clicking here. This is a rare fifth Sunday of the calendar month, which means that we will have Coffee Hour again next Sunday.
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, 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.

Birthdays this week: Sharon Lennihan (11/30), Cory Mclean (12/1), Sandra Bartlett (12/2)
The faithful departed: Recently departed: Bradford Atwood, Julia Callanan, Barbara Stenning. Year's mind: Martha Saunders (11/29) Jimmy Chancy Black (12/4).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Lusitanian Church, the Right Reverend Jorge Pina Corbal, Bishop. In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for the Clergy and People of the Church of the Advent, Coventry.
This Week at St. Stephen's

Saturday 5 December
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

All Services Streamed on our Facebook Page

Sunday 29 November
Sung Mass 10:00 am
Zoom Coffee Hour 11:30 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary

Monday 30 November
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 1 December
Tuesday in the First Week of Advent
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637
Charles de Foucauld, Hermit, 1916
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 2 December
Wednesday in the First Week of Advent
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 3 December
Thursday in the First Week of Advent
Frances Xavier, Apostle of the Indies, Missionary, 1552
Noonday Prayer 12 pm
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Friday 4 December
Friday in the First Week of Advent
John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher, c.749
Noonday Prayer 12 pm
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 5 December
Saturday in the First Week of Advent
Clement of Alexandria, Priest, Teacher, c. 210
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10:00 am
Holy Rosary 10:30

Next Sunday
Sung Mass 10:00 am
Zoom Coffee Hour 11:30 am