The Episcopalian Church was born from the American Revolution and incorporated some major feast days to commemorate important events in our country’s history.
4th of July was the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. At the 1785 General Convention, a service was drawn up for this day, and “That the said form of prayer be used in this Church, on the fourth of July, for ever.” The Proposed Book of 1786 contained “A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the inestimable Blessings of Religious and Civil Liberty” to be used on the 4th of July.
Thanksgiving Day is one of two national holidays that are also part of our church list of Holy Days. The Eucharist service starts at 10:00 am on Thanksgiving Day. The service provides an opportunity, with music and prayer, to gather, reflect and give thanks for what might be close to one’s heart. This is one of the few services offered on Thanksgiving Day in our area. — Visitors are especially welcome!
Feast of St. Francis & Blessing of the Animals
We celebrate Francis of Assisi, born in 1182 to a prosperous merchant family. His young life was spent in harmless revelry and fruitless attempts to win military glory, but encounters with beggars and lepers pricked his conscience and he decided to embrace a life of poverty.
Francis renounced all material values and devoted himself to serving the poor. He established the Order of Friars Minor, a name he chose to emphasize his desire to be numbered among the “least” of God’s servants. He is also the saint most closely associated with animals; he rejoiced in the value and beauty animals bring to creation.
Of all the saints, Francis is the most popular and admired, but probably the least imitated; few have attained to his total identification with the poverty and suffering of Christ.
At St. Matthew’s, pets of all varieties are welcome to attend and receive a blessing at the Feast of St. Francis in the courtyard. The service usually occurs the first Sunday in October.