In our main worship space at St. Paul's, we have two stained glass windows. One window depicts events from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), while the other depicts events from the Christian Scriptures (New Testament).
Vespers, or Evening Prayer, is the universal prayer of the Church prayed at evening. St. Paul's celebrates Vespers each Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, as well as on other special feast days such as the birth of St. John the Baptist, the Birth of Mary, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, etc. Our parish Faith Formation Calendar lists all the dates for our celebration of Vespers. All are invited to join with us in this beautiful prayer of the Church. For further information, please call our parish office.
A Description of Vespers
In some ways, Vespers is re-learning a forgotten way of doing things. So often our prayer is nothing more than words- either spoken out loud, or said to one's self. Or it is imagination - we "think" our prayers. What we gather to do at evening reflects the conviction of Christians from earliest times that God's word not only was "thought" or "spoken," but that God's word has become Flesh and lives among us. So all-embracing is this Truth, that Christians have always strived to "enflesh" their prayer. Vespers is such prayer. It is the expression of faith through the "stuff" of creation. It is the assurance that Christ comes to save all of creation, not just part of it.
What "Stuff" is used inVespers?
TIME- Vespers is the Church's prayer at Evening. Between the activity of day and the rest that comes with night, there is a brief time to unwind, to reflect, and to pray. It is a privileged time: in the transition from day into night, we learn to trust in the Lord's unfailing presence.
LIGHT- Christ is the Light no darkness can overcome; we Christians share in his light, first given to us at Baptism, and we are called to share it with all we meet.
POSTURE AND GESTURES - We sit to listen and reflect, we stand to proclaim our faith, we cross ourselves to say we belong to Christ, we bow at the name of Jesus and at the name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our whole being, like Mary's, proclaims the greatness of the Lord.
SINGING - In the Scriptures and in the Tradition of the Church, heaven is depicted as full of an unceasing chorus of Angels and Saints, giving their "all" to glorify God. When we sing, we hear an echo of the heavenly hymn of praise.
INCENSE - Aromatic gums suggest the pleasing fragrance of Christ; they suggest as well the "smell of a Christian", one whose life is pleasing and acceptable to God. Incense images our prayers rising to God.
SILENCE- Not merely the absence of sound, silence is full of God. We wait, we watch, we listen - for the Lord to come to us, to show himself to us, to speak to us. Silence is the "sound" of our hopes and longings.
St. Paul Parish Pastoral Council - Organizational Overview
St. Paul Parish Pastoral Council exists to assist the Pastor with the non-administrative, pastoral (worship, formation, and service) life of the parish. Council functions in a consultative manner, assessing, visioning, planning, and evaluating matters pertaining to the pastoral life of the parish.
2. Membership (All persons are St. Paul Parish Staff and/or registered St. Paul Parishioners.)
A. Ex Officio Members: the Pastor, the Director of Faith Formation, the Director of Music, and the Permanent Deacon.
B. Active Members: at-large representatives of the parish.
1. No fewer than seven (7) and no more than twelve (12).
2. Fully-initiated and practicing Catholics.
3. Eighteen (18) years of age or older.
4. Two (2) year terms, commencing in December; renewable.
C. Selection of Active Members
1. By Invitation from Pastor, Council.
2. By Nomination -- Pastor, Council, Individual.
3. Requires discernment and consensus of Pastor and Council.
1. Presider/Chair: the Pastor, or his delegate
2. Membership Secretary.
3. Recording/Corresponding Secretary.
E. Liaison Responsibility: All members are to function in a liaison capacity between Council and one or more commissions of committees.
A. Meeting Schedule: Quarterly, usually on the second Tuesday; a year-long (liturgical year) schedule of meetings will be published in advance.
B. Meeting Agenda follows predetermined order.
C. Decision-making by consensus
D. Introduction of New Business:
1. At current meeting for subsequent meeting(s).
2. Contacting Pastor before setting of agenda.
3. All new business must be proposed one month prior to next meeting.
E. Parishioner Attendance at Meetings
1. With prior notice to Pastor or current member of Council.
2. Permission to speak with consensus of Council.