For centuries, Christians have observed a season of penitence and fasting as a commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. This is the season of Lent—a time of self-examination and repentance so as to better appreciate the forgiveness and reconciliation afforded us in Christ. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent and is so named for the imposition of ashes on the foreheads of Christians who observe with great devotion Christ’s reconciling sacrifice. The imposition of ashes (along with penitence and fasting) is a sign of our mortal and sinful nature, and of our utter and total dependence upon God’s grace for forgiveness, reconciliation, and life.
First Presbyterian Church observes the imposition of ashes every Ash Wednesday at a 7:00 pm service of worship. (Our next observance will be February 22, 2012 AD.)
Tenebrae (which is Latin for “darkness”) is an observance in the last part of Holy Week in which the last seven sayings of Jesus (assembled from the various gospel accounts) are read, accompanied by the gradual extinguishing of candles. In the Protestant traditions, Tenebrae is usually observed on Maundy Thursday (Thursday of Holy Week). This service also involves the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in commoration of Christ’s last supper with his disciples on Thursday night before his crucifixion. (“Maundy” is a reference to the Latin mandatum novum; “a new commandment” which Christ gives his disciples to love one another.)
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34).
First Presbyterian Church observes Tenebrae every Maundy Thursday at a 7:00 pm service of worship. (Our next observance will be April 5, 2012 AD.)
We Presbyterians are theologically part of what is known as the “Reformed Tradition.” The following theological themes are central to the Reformed Tradition:
- The sovereignty of God;
- The authority of the Bible;
- The unity of the church;
- The communion of God’s people;
- And, the priesthood of all believes.
We celebrate our Reformed heritage on the last Sunday in the month of October—a date approximate to the anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the ninety-five theses on October 31, 1517 AD (consider to be the beginning of the Protestant Reformation). Our next observance will be October 30, 2011 AD.
As part of our Chruch Family Night (CFN) fellowship program, we celebrate the sacrament of the Lord's Supper on a Wednesday Night during the season of Advent.
First Presbyterian Church observes this Advent Communion every year usually on the first or second Wednesday of December at a 7:00 pm service of worship. (Our next observance will be December 7, 2011 AD.)
SERVICE OF LIGHT—Christmas Eve
The Service of Light is a candlelight worship service which celebrates the nativity of Jesus Christ. In this service, we gather in worship to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior by singing carols and lighting candles to symbolize the Light of Christ which illumines our otherwise darkened lives with the love and grace of God. From a single candle (the Christ Candle), we break the darkness of the evening by sharing Christ’s light—Christ’s love—with one another.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:9)
Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
First Presbyterian Church observes The Service of Light every Christmas Eve at a 7:00 pm service of worship. (Our next observance will be December 24, 2011 AD.)
RETURN TO WORSHIP