St. Paul’s Lenten Observances
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, 5:00 p.m.; tickets at the door
Stations of The Cross, Tuesdays 12:00 noon.
Ash Wednesday, Mass and Imposition of Ashes, 7:00 a.m., 12 noon, 7:00 p.m.
Holy Week Schedule
Palm Sunday, all three regular weekend services
Monday: Holy Eucharist, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Holy Eucharist, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Bible Study on the Passion, 11:00 a.m.
Healing Eucharist: 12:00 noon, 7:30 p.m.
Maundy Thursday: Holy Eucharist, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Stripping of the Altar (children are invited to help), approximately 8:15 p.m)
Thursday: Vigil at the Altar of Repose, 8:30 p.m – 12:00 midnight, in the Chapel.
Thursday: Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament (with incense), 11:50 p.m., in the Chapel.
Liturgy, Preaching of the Passion, Meditations, 12:00 noon – 3:00 p.m.
(Decoration of the Church for Easter, after the Mass)
Stations of The Cross
As part of its Lenten observances, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wellsboro offers the service of Stations of the Cross at 12 noon on Tuesdays.
The practice of following Christ’s path to Golgotha, the place of His crucifixion, with recollections of the events that occurred on the way, was observed by a nun visiting Jerusalem in the Fourth Century. At St. Paul’s, fourteen ‘stations’ located around the inside of the church recall these events for worshipers, who may move from station to station if they wish. At each station, a brief meditation and an appropriate prayer are offered.
The service is brief, lasting for only about twenty minutes, making it possible for persons to attend during the lunch hour. Although brief, the service can be very helpful as one draws closer to Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and the Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection. The congregation of St. Paul’s welcomes all who may wish to join in this very appropriate Lenten devotion.
Holy Week Observances
From Palm Sunday through Good Friday, the events of the Passion of Jesus Christ, from his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, to his betrayal, denial, trial, sentence, and death on the Cross, are recalled at various services conducted at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wellsboro.
‘The intent of our Holy Week observances is not to leave each of us with a feeling of personal guilt,’ said Canon Gregory P. Hinton. ‘Rather, the intent of the liturgies is to lead us to a profound sense of gratitude for that which our Lord endured for us all – indeed for the whole of the human condition.’
The story of Christ’s bold entry into Jerusalem, followed almost immediately by his betrayal and agonizing death, are recalled at the 10 a.m. Palm Sunday Eucharist. The congregation enters the church carrying palm fronds and singing ‘Hosanna to the son of David!’
But the ‘Hosannas’ that greeted Jesus two thousand years ago quickly change to cries of ‘Crucify him,’ as the service reflects this dramatic turn of heart. The congregation participates in the story of Christ’s Passion as it is told in the Gospel of St. Mark. Canon Hinton portrays the words of Christ, and members of St. Paul’s choir chant he part of the narrator and the words of the governor, Pontius Pilate. The main choir chants the words of the angry crowd seeking Christ’s death.
A shorter version of the Palm Sunday liturgy (without music) begins at 8 a.m.. A less formal version, featuring The Good News-Goodtime Band, begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
To observe the solemnity of the days between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, there is a celebration of the Eucharist on each weekday of Holy Week, Monday thorough Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. The Thursday Eucharist recalls Christ’s mandate to His apostles that they must love one another, and concludes with the removal of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose and the stripping of the Altar.
Good Friday, unlike any other day in the Christian calendar, is marked at St. Paul’s with a liturgy that is also unlike any other in the year. The service lasts for three hours, from 12 noon until 3:00 p.m., but worshipers are invited to come or to leave at any time. Readings from scripture and meditations are followed by a reading of the Passion of Jesus Christ according to St. John, with members of the congregation taking the varied speaking parts.
Later in the Good Friday liturgy, the Solemn Collects, ancient prayers ‘for people everywhere according to their needs,’ are chanted. Stations of the Cross follow. The practice of following Christ’s path to Golgotha, the place of His crucifixion, with recollections of the events that occurred on the way, was observed by a nun visiting Jerusalem in the Fourth Century. At St. Paul’s, fourteen ‘stations’ located around the inside of the church recall these events for worshipers, who may move from station to station if they wish.
The people of St. Paul’s extend a sincere welcome to persons of all denominations and faiths to renew their acquaintance with the Passion of Christ at the church’s Holy Week worship services.