St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Monday, September 01, 2014
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Contemplative Offerings

 
At 5:30 p.m. each Sunday evening, St. Stephen's offers a service of Celtic Evensong with Holy Communion. Our Celtic worship is drawn from the liturgical traditions of Iona and Northumbria, and the music at these services is contemplative, lively and haunting. The prayers are at once earthy, holy and inclusive. This service has been well received not only by St. Stephen's parishioners, but includes worshipers from other churches in the area, as well as those with little or no religious background. All are welcome at this service.
 
The Celtic service includes healing prayer for those who desire it.
 
All are welcome to receive Communion at St. Stephen's. In the pew rack there are instructions about receiving the bread and wine, but please do not worry about "doing it right." (You can read these guidelines on our Web site, too.) The important thing is simply that you know that God welcomes you, and there is no telling how God might reach you in Communion. Just be open.
 
 
 
From the ancient monastic practice of ending the day in prayer and praise of God, a weekly Compline service is held every Sunday at 8:00 p.m. This stunningly lit beautiful candlelit service features a small group of singers, "Sanctuary," offering Gregorian Chant and Renaissance polyphony. This service was inaugurated in September 2010 to mark our Centennial Year, but proved so popular that we have continued to offer it.
 
All are welcome at this service, and we encourage you to make yourself comfortable when attending it--perhaps even lie down in a pew and enjoy the beautiful sounds and stillness. Listen to part of a recording from this service here. Read more about Compline, and our new Compline CD, here.
 
 
Contemplative Prayer
Year-round offering; no registration needed
Tuesdays at 8:45 a.m. in the Lounge
 
Silence is God's first language. Words are a poor translation. --Father Thomas Keating
We gather to sit together in silence. We have a short walking meditation and then a contemplative dialogue. We close with silence.
All are welcome.
 
Second Saturdays Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.

Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer — verbal, mental or affective prayer — into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.

The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. The effects of Centering Prayer are ecclesial, as the prayer tends to build communities of faith and bond the members together in mutual friendship and love.

Centering prayer is held on the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in room 14. To learn more, contact Henry Burke, or Betsy Lee in the parish office.