This Week at St. Paul’s

Welcome to This Week at St. Paul’s. This is a weekly and occasional email from St. Paul’s Church with announcements pertaining to the life and ministry of this parish.

From the Rector:

Dear Friends in Christ:

“On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which by hearing his Word and celebrating his Sacraments, we share in his victory over death.”

These are the opening sentences of the Easter Vigil, the most sacred service of the liturgical year, rivaled only by the Feast of the Incarnation. If you have not experienced a vigil, prepare yourself for a moving experience. This is not to be confused with a vigil of prayer kept from the close of the Maundy Thursday liturgy and Holy Saturday. That too, is a moving experience but has a different intention … watching and praying with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The Easter Vigil is the first Eucharist of Easter. It can be celebrated “anytime between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter morning.” (BCP p234)  Your Vestry and I discussed all of our Holy Week options and believed the best way to express this would be on Easter Day prior to sunrise at 6 am. The service begins at the oldest known grave in the cemetery of St. Paul’s, where the Paschal Candle is lit from the Easter Fire that has been kindled in a brazier. Then we move in procession following that candle in the darkness into the church as the priest chants  “The Light of Christ” and the congregation responds, “Thanks be to God.”

We do that twice more, ending with a collect that speaks of the Lord’s saving acts in history. In the meantime, as people are taking their seats, we will be given candles that we will hold and light from ushers who have received their light from the Paschal Candle. The ancient Exsultet is chanted as it has been since the 7th century. Imagine watching the church fill with light one person at a time, waiting for Resurrection. We will listen to the history of salvation through the stories of the Old Testament, five lessons followed by a hymn or canticle. Then follows a brief sermon and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows. At the conclusion of the renewal, the acolytes move to light all the altar candles, bells begin ringing (bring your bells J) and the people proclaim “Alleluia Christ is Risen, the Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.”

We move immediately into the Gloria in Excelsis and the service proceeds with our usual joyful celebration of the Easter liturgy, complete with wonderful hymns.

I hope you will join with your Christian family throughout the world who, will be living fully into the sacred days of Holy Week of which the Vigil and Easter Day  is the culmination.  There is something powerful about starting in the place of desolation where we left our Lord  in the garden tomb and returning there again with the women who found our Lord risen. May it be so too in our lives and in the life of our world.

Keep the Faith and let the Faith keep you.


Easter Day

Sunday, April 21             The Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Sunday

6:00AM                            The Great Vigil of Easter
The Easter Vigil is one of the oldest services in the history of Church. It begins in darkness with the kindling of a new fire, the chanting of the Exsultet, a series of readings from the Old Testament to remind the faithful of God’s past victories, continues with the renewal of our baptismal covenant and then shifts dramatically to the joyful first Alleluia’s of Easter when Christ reigns victorious over death and the grave.
9:00AM                             Holy Eucharist, Rite II (with Choirs & Flowering of the Cross)
11:15AM                           Holy Eucharist, Rite I (with Choirs)
Easter Day is the annual Feast of the Resurrection. Faith in Jesus’ resurrection on the Sunday (or third day) following his crucifixion is at the heart of Christian belief. Join us for this joyful day of celebration. Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Palm Cross making
Altar Guild members and all other church members are needed to help make crosses for Palm Sunday. Join us at 9:00 am in the Parish House on Saturday, April 13 for an hour of fellowship.

Join us for Pretzels
On Sunday, April 14, the Youth Sunday School Class will be in the Parish House making soft pretzels, which will be enjoyed by those attending Coffee Hour following the 10:45 am service. The pretzel has a deep spiritual meaning for Lent. The first pretzel was made by an Italian monk who wanted to provide a simple reminder that lent is a time of prayer. He made the bread dough with only flour, water, and salt since early Christians ate no dairy products during lent. The little breads were called bracellae, the Latin word for “little arms” because the dough was shaped like two arms folded in prayer.  From this word came the German word bretzel, and our word pretzel.

Flowering of the Cross, Easter Sunday, 9:00 am Service 
The tradition at the 9:00 am Easter Eucharist is to flower a cross and, at the end of the service, process with it to the cemetery. Parishioners are asked to bring flowers to the church and place them on the cross (outside near the front door) prior to the service. Bring enough flowers for yourself and some to share.

Schola Cantorum
Sunday, May 5 at 5pm, Schola Cantorum of the Diocese of East Carolina will offer Choral Evensong in the sanctuary of St. Paul’s. Schola Cantorum, the auditioned choir of the Diocese of East Carolina, travels throughout the diocese and beyond to keep alive the Anglican tradition of Evensong – a fully sung evening prayer service. The majority of the service is sung by the choir and lasts approximately 55 minutes. We hope you will bring a friend to experience an Evensong and to hear some of the most beautiful sacred choral music ever written.

St. Paul’s Children’s Egg Hunt
Did you know that there are 50 days of Easter? The best way to express that is by celebrating all of them including the St. Paul’s Children’s Egg Hunt which will be held on May 5 following the 10:45 am service. Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter. As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide. The oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs wrapped in colorful foil, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as chocolate. Although eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth, in Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus, from which Jesus resurrected. In addition, one ancient tradition was the staining of Easter eggs with the color red “in memory of the blood of Christ, shed as at that time of his crucifixion. Bring a basket. Drinks, treats and cupcakes will be provided. Special note to Parishioners: Please bring plastic eggs filled with candy which will not melt to the Parish House kitchen or the church office by Friday, May 3. (Stickers are another egg stuffing option.)

ECW of Province IV
This year the ECW of Province IV is having their Annual Retreat & Meeting locally at Trinity Center Monday June 3 – Wednesday June 5. Province IV, also known as the Province of Sewanee, is the largest of the Provinces in The Episcopal Church and is comprised of twenty dioceses in nine Southeastern states. Chris Butterworth will be speaking on the ECW Province IV theme, Godly Harmony, Transformation & Renewal In Today’s World. Commuters pay $15 per day for lunch and a registration fee of $50 which must be received by May 8. Information and a registration form are posted in the Parish House and available in the office.

Patti Dill ECW Scholarships Available
The ECW values its students and all the work they do for St. Paul’s. If you are a graduating high school senior, a member of St. Paul’s, and planning to continue your education we invite you to apply for a $1000.00 Patti Dill ECW scholarship to help with your education. The application is in the Church office. Please complete and return it no later than May 1, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Tricia Phillips at 252-241-6363 or

Outreach for April – Family Promise of Carteret County
St. Paul’s is among the 14 host churches providing housing, one week at a time, for homeless women and children from across the county. The program, which operates at 1500 Arendell St. in Morehead City, provides job training and child rearing skills while helping the families find homes. Volunteers are needed to set up and break down sleeping spaces, prepare and serve meals, spend the night and set up breakfast daily, provide children’s activities and arrange transportation to and from the center.  For more information contact Sarah Jo Safrit, outreach commission chair, at To make a monetary contribution to this cause, you may use an outreach envelope (found at the back of the church) or simply drop your check in the plate during the service. Please make checks payable to St. Paul’s Church and write “outreach” in the memo line. Checks may also be mailed to the church or give online at

Prayer Requests
To add your name or the name of a loved one to the prayer list, contact the St. Paul’s Office at 728-3324 or email,  Individuals will remain on the prayer list for three weeks.  To keep the person on the list longer, simply contact the Office with that request at the end of three weeks, doing so as long as needed. The person to be listed must give permission for their name to be included in this public prayer request list. This is to protect their privacy and respect their wishes.

 St. Paul’s website
Go to to check out upcoming events, catch up on The Epistle, and make donations online.