This is Trinity Sunday. Of the 7 major festivals of the church, three come in successive Sundays: Sunday after the Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday. The other four, Easter, Christmas, All Saints and the Epiphany, get spread out over many months.
To emphasize the importance of these days, the church seating has been rearranged. The congregation processes in and sits in rows of seats facing each other during the ministry of the word, that is, for the readings from scripture, the prayers of the people, and the sermon.
After the passing of the peace, the congregation moves forward closer to the sanctuary and celebrates the Eucharist. Please excuse the music stands in the foreground as I sit with the choir where I add a drum to the guitars, piano, and singing.
The celebration of the Eucharist is always the highlight of an Episcopal (Anglican) service. Different denominations use different names for this sacrament depending on their custom. For Roman Catholics it is the Mass, for many protestant churches it is Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper. We Episcopalians consider ourselves to be Anglo-catholic, as we have retained the liturgy and many of the customs and practices of the Catholic church, yet we are also protestants. Confusing? We consider that we have the best of both worlds.
Before the service this morning the congregation gathered in the cloister garden just off the narthex. The garden has recently been renovated and the pool and fountain redone. This beautiful addition the the church was due to the generous efforts of Carl and Kathryn Melnick. The garden was blessed by Fr. Rick Brewer then the congregation processed into the building.