Welcome to St. Peter's Episcopal, Port Royal

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1. Newcomers - Welcome Page

2. Contact the Rev Catherine Hicks, Rector

3. St. Peter's Sunday News

4. March, 2018 Server Schedule

5. Latest Newsletter-the Parish Post (March, 2018)

6. Calendar

7. Parish Ministries

8. What's new on the website 

9. This past Sunday

10. Latest Palm Sunday Bulletin (March 25, 2018 11:00am),  and Sermon (March 18, 2017)

March 25, 2018    
11. Recent Services: 

Feb.25, Lent 2

Photos from Feb. 25

March 4, Lent 3

Photos from March 4

March 11, Lent 4

Photos from March 11

Mike Newmans Block print of St. Peter's Christmas

 Block Print by Mike Newman


Colors for Year B, 2017-18

Rose* [Laetere Sunday]
(Lent 4)
[March 11]
Purple Palm Sunday Mar 25-28
Purple Maundy Thursday Mar 29
Purple Black Good Friday Mar 30
Black Holy Saturday Mar 31



Daily "Day by Day"

3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.

Knowing that not everyone prays at the same pace, you have control over the pace of the retreat. After each screen, a Continue button will appear. Click it when you are ready to move on. If you are new to online prayer, the basic timing of the screens will guide you through the experience.

Follow the Star

Daily meditations in words and music.  

Sacred Space

Your daily prayer online, since 1999

"We invite you to make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, praying here and now, as you visit our website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance."

Daily C. S. Lewis thoughts

Saints of the Week,  March 18- March 25

Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, 386
Saint Joseph
Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1711 (new date)
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr, 1556 [new date]
James De Koven, Priest, 1879
Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop and Missionary of Armenia, c. 332
Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, 1980
The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary

From left to right - Sermon theme from Psalm 51 building a new covenant; Glistening Rapphannock River, Reading the bulletin from a young age, birthdays from 71 to 7, Prayers of the People "We pray for the earth as we give thanks for the miracles of new life being born around us as winter turns to spring.."

Check out last Sunday, March 18 2018

Holy Week

March 25 - 10am - Christian Education for children

March 25 - 10am - "Thy Kingdom Come" Adult Lent Study

March 25 - 10:45am  - Palm Sunday - Litany of the Palms (at the Parish House)

March 25 - 11am  - Palm Sunday, Holy Eucharist , Rite II

Holy Week Links

Sunday, March 25, 2018  Readings and Servers

Wed., March 28 - 7pm - Tenebrae

Thurs., March 29 - 7pm - Maundy Thursday

Friday, March 30 -7pm - Good Friday

Sunday, April 1 - 7am - Easter Sunrise service

Sunday, April 1 - 10:45 - Lighting of the Paschal Fire

Sunday, April 1 - 11:00 - Easter service 

What a first week of spring!

As much as we try to plan, and order our lives, and just when we think we know where we are going, God and nature have a way of intervening. Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day  even maintains  "Jesus was untamed."

A few pictures and a story about our week...

from Zechariah 9:9 ..."Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

The donkey was a symbol peace and fulfilled this prophecy of Zechariah Palm branches symbolize victory.

Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday 1891

We are nearing the end of Lent. Lent proper began on Ash Wednesday and ends on Palm/Passion Sunday, a day that in turn inaugurates Holy Week. 

While Palm Sunday marks Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem,  the events of that day set in motion Jesus' death 5 days later before the Passover begins. Zechariah had forecast "Zion's king" coming "righteous and victorious" on a donkey. It looked like Jesus was proclaiming himself King of Israel to the anger of some of the Jewish authorities.

Palm Sunday has two liturgies - the Liturgy of the Palms where we consider Jesus arrival in Jerusalem from Galilee and the Liturgy of the Passion, a foreshadowing of Holy Week.   

At 10:45am we will meet in the yard beside the parish house for the Blessing of the Palms followed by our Palm Sunday procession into the church which will feature the Liturgy of the Passion.

Palm Sunday is the hinge between Lent and Holy Week. Lent has been the 40 day season of fasting and spiritual preparation intended to understand in practices, ritual and disciplines critical to living in the way of Jesus and Holy Week. Holy Week is a time of more intense fasting, reading and prayers in which we pay particular attention to the final days, suffering, and execution of Jesus.

Here is a page of the significance  Palm Sunday- meanings, the path and art of this important day.

The following week is Holy Week.  We have both a timetable and links to this most important week in our tradition.

Palm Sunday: The Setting: "We are going up to Jerusalem"

From Killing Jesus - Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard 

"Jerusalem is just a forty-minute walk from the village of Bethany, where they stop for the night. They stay at the home of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha, rather than risk traveling after sundown and on the start of the Sabbath. This will be their base throughout Passover week, and Jesus and the disciples plan to return here most nights for the promise of a hot meal and easy rest.  

"Just on the other side of Bethpage, the two disciples stand waiting. One holds the bridle of a donkey that has never been ridden. The animal is bareback. A disciple removes his square cloak and lays it across the animal’s back as an improvised saddle. The other disciples remove their cloaks and lay them on the ground in an act of submission, forming a carpet on which the donkey can walk. 

"Following this example, many of the pilgrims remove their own cloaks and lay them on the ground. Others gather palm fronds or snap branches off olive and cypress trees and wave them with delight. This is the sign everyone has been waiting for. This is the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy. “Blessed is the king!” shouts a disciple. The people join in, exalting Jesus and crying out to him. “Hosanna,” they chant. “Hosanna in the highest.” 

Read more from Killing Jesus 

Voices about Palm Sunday

1. David Lose - The Key to the Story

"Jesus suffers, that is, so that when we are suffering we know God understands and cares for us. Jesus is utterly alone by the end of the story so that when we feel alone we know God understands and is with us. Jesus cries out in despair so that when we become convinced the whole world has conspired against us and feel ready to give up, we know that God understands and holds onto us. Jesus dies because so that we know God understands death and the fear of death and reminds us that death does not have the last word. "All that we see and hear, all that we read and sing, all of this is for us.

Read more...  

Why was Jesus Killed ? 

Arland J. Hultgren

"People colluded to have Jesus killed. The most certain fact we have about Jesus as a historical person is that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, just as we say in the Apostles' Creed. Even though he had no intentions of being an earthly king, some people thought that that was what he wanted to be. The title on the cross says it all: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews" (27:37). As such, his crucifixion was a political act by the Roman government. If Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews (which Pilate does not actually think, but others in power do), that was treasonous, requiring his death."

Mark Roberts -

From a Roman perspective, why did Jesus have to die?

• Because he disturbed Roman order.

• Because he spoke seditiously of a coming kingdom other than that of Caesar.

• Because he allowed himself to be called “King of the Jews.”

• Because he made a nuisance of himself at the wrong time (Passover), in the wrong  place (Jerusalem), in the presence of the wrong people (Pilate and the temple leadership under his command).

 • Because his crucifixion would be a powerful deterrent that might keep other Jews from following in his footsteps.

 Father Jim Cook 

"Jesus was executed for three reasons, says Luke: "We found this fellow subverting the nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King" (Luke 23:1–2). In John's gospel the angry mob warned Pilate, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar" (John 19:12).  

"In short, "He's subverting our nation. He opposes Caesar. You can't befriend both Jesus and Caesar." They were right, even more right than they knew or could have imagined.  "

Read more...  

 Lectionary, March 25, Palm Sunday

I.Theme -   "Strength is concealed in humility, pain is hidden in triumph, victory, in defeat, life, in death, God, in human form" -Diedrik Nelson 


"Palm Sunday" - Giotto (1305-06)     "Betrayal & Arrest of Christ" - Fra Angelico (1450)

The lectionary readings are here or individually: 

Old Testament - Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm - Psalm 31:9-16 Page 623, BCP 
Epistle -Philippians 2:5-11 
Gospel - Mark 14:1-15:47 

"Borg and Crossan (The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem) imagine not one but two political processions entering Jerusalem that Friday morning in the spring of AD 30. In a bold parody of imperial politics, king Jesus descended the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem from the east in fulfillment of Zechariah's ancient prophecy: "Look, your king is coming to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Matthew 21:5 = Zechariah 9:9). From the west, the Roman governor Pilate entered Jerusalem with all the pomp of state power. Pilate's brigades showcased Rome's military might, power and glory. Jesus' triumphal entry, by stark contrast, was an anti-imperial and anti-triumphal "counter-procession" of peasants that proclaimed an alternate and subversive community that for three years he had called "the kingdom of God."

This week has two liturgies - Liturgy of the Palms and Liturgy of the Passon.

"The church is called to reckon with paradox on this week: triumph and rejection, death and rebirth." So writes Melinda Quivik in Working Preacher. The week begins with Jesus triumphant arrival and by the end of the week he is killed.  Next week we trace the path day by day.  God is sacrificed by those he brings life. 

"Strength is concealed in humility, pain is hidden in triumph, victory, in defeat, life, in death, God, in human form" -Diedrik Nelson 

The theme is established by the first lesson. The servant is disciplined by suffering so he may bring strength and refreshment to the oppressed, but there are those who oppose him. Willingly he submits to those who torture and humiliate him. But God is his helper, so he is not disgraced or shamed. God vindicates him, no one can convict him.

The servant willingly suffers humiliation at the hands of his adversaries. He is not disgraced or put to shame because Yahweh vindicates him and helps him; no one can declare him guilty.

The servant of the Lord is opposed (Isaiah), is obedient to death (Philippians). He is betrayed, tortured and crucified by those who should have listened to him, and is recognized as Son of God by a centurion (Matthew). He will be vindicated (Isaiah), exalted by God (Philippians), and honored by the unexpected (Matthew).

The Passion story in Mark can be broken down in the following scenes:

1. Mark 14:1-11 extravagant love 
2. Mark 14:12-21 passover preparation 
3. Mark 14:22-25 Jesus' last supper
4. Mark 14:26-42 agony in the garden 
5. Mark 14:43-52 Jesus' arrest  
6. Mark 14:53-72 Jesus' trial, Peter's denial
7. Mark 15:1-20 Jesus before Pilate 
8. Mark 15:21-32 Jesus crucified 
9. Mark 15:33-41 Jesus' death  
10. Mark 15:42-47 Jesus' burial 

Read more from the lectionary 

 Parallel Traditions: Mark's Passion Story 

This year we concentrate on Mark's story of the Passion (last year Matthew). Mark's was the oldest and a source for both Matthew and Luke.  Mark and Matthew tend to be close in their accounts.

Each of the Gospels stresses something different about the event according to Catholic writer Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.:

  • Mark: the suffering of Jesus, how he was tragically rejected, unfairly condemned, viciously beaten, horribly insulted, and cruely mistreated by multiple groups .
  • Matthew: the kingship of Jesus, how the de-facto ruling powers (esp. Pilate & Caiphas) conspired to get rid of someone they saw as a political threat.  
  • Luke: the innocence of Jesus, how Pilate said he did not deserve death, and others (Herod Antipas, centurion, repentant thief) also recognized his innocence.
  • John: the exaltation of Jesus, how he remains in charge, driving the all action, completing the will of the Father, and being glorified as he is lifted up.

Episodes Only In Luke and John, but not Mark or Matthew: 

  • Much longer dialogues at the Last Supper (Luke 22:24-38; John 13–16)
  • Pilate stresses Jesus’ innocence (Luke 23:4, 13-16, 22; John 18:38b; 19:4, 6, 12)

Episodes Only in Luke:

  • Jesus is tried before the Sanhedrin at dawn (Luke 22:66-71).
  • Jesus is taken and questioned before Herod (Luke 23:6-12).
  • Jesus speaks with women on the Way to Calvary (Luke 23:26-33a).
  • Jesus forgives those who are crucifying him (Luke 23:34a).
  • Jesus speaks with the “repentant thief” (Luke 23:39-4.

Episodes Only in John

  • Jesus washes his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-20).
  • Jesus’ long prayer to the Father (John 17:1-26).
  • Jesus has a much longer trial before Pilate (John 18:29–19:16).
  • Jesus’ last words on the cross (see above; John 19:26-27, 28, 30).
  • After Jesus’ death, his side is pierced, but his bones not broken (John 19:31-37).


Holy Week, 2013

Holy Week - The observance of Holy Week services developed in Jerusalem in the fourth century. Pilgrims to Jerusalem brought the services back home and incorporated them into their local worship. These services then provided the structure for the celebrations of Holy Week. The devotional services of this week are an important part of our Anglican tradition.  

Wednesday, March 28, 7PM—TENEBRAE 

Tenebrae (which is Latin for “darkness”) is based on the ancient monastic night and early morning services during the last three days of Holy Week. Our Book of Occasional Services has drawn elements of all these services together so that we can share in “an extended meditation upon, and a prelude to the events in our Lord’s life between the Last Supper and the Resurrection.” The use of Lamentations, Psalms that Jesus certainly would have known and prayed during his last days, and the extinguishing of candles throughout the service provide a powerful entrance into the events of Holy Week. Last year's Tenebrae service  

Thursday, March 29, 7PM—MAUNDY THURSDAY  

The name Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin “mandatum,” and refers to the new commandment that Jesus gives to us. Leonel Mitchell tells us that this service ties the events of the Last Supper to the events of Good Friday, and connects the Eucharist with the sacrifice of the cross. Last year's Maundy Thursday service.

Friday, March 30, 7PM—GOOD FRIDAY 

The Good Friday liturgy gives us the opportunity to remember and participate in the events of this day—our salvation through the victory of Christ, who by dying, destroyed death. This service includes the veneration of the cross, a custom which also dates back to the fourth century. Last year's Good Friday service


Home of Alexander Long IV. This community service, sponsored by the Ruritans, gives us the opportunity to worship and then to share breakfast with our Port Royal neighbors.


The Easter Day service is the principal celebration of the church year. Please plan to attend and celebrate our Lord’s glorious resurrection. Everyone will gather for the lighting of the Paschal fire in front of the church at 10:45 AM.  Our service will feature festal music featuring the voices of our choir and the organ.  Last year's Easter service.

The Skitguys take on Palm Sunday

A slightly humorous skit on Palm Sunday

Oscar Romero : "A Future Not Our Own", March 24

From the Gospel of  John this week, the word "glorify" appears multiple times: "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."  Jesus dies, not to appease God’s anger over human sinfulness, but because a death like his can be the means for bearing much fruit.  

Archbishop Oscar Romero found great consolation in this verse when his own life was threatened and, in fact, his words have reverberated ever more strongly since his assassination. Tertullian captured it well in the phrase, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

Romero (1917-1980) , a prominent Roman Catholic priest in El Salvador during the 1960s and 1970s, became Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977. After witnessing numerous violations of human rights, he began to speak out on behalf of the poor and the victims of repression. This led to numerous conflicts, both with the government in El Salvador and within the Catholic Church. After speaking out against U.S. military support for the government of El Salvador, and calling for soldiers to disobey orders to fire on innocent civilians, Archbishop Romero was shot dead while celebrating Mass at the small chapel of the cancer hospital where he lived. It is believed that those who organized his assassination were members of Salvadoran death squads, including two graduates of the School of the Americas.

The following prayer was composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, drafted for a homily by Card. John Dearden in Nov. 1979 for a celebration of departed priests. As a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero, Bishop Untener included it in a reflection titled "The mystery of the Romero Prayer." The mystery is that the words of the prayer are attributed to Oscar Romero, but they were never spoken by him. March 24, 1980 is the day he was gunned down in a vicious murder while celebrating mass.  

Recently Pope Francis has recognized Oscar Romero as martyr; beatification expected. An article about this is here.

"It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

"We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of
saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession
brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives include everything.

"This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one
day will grow. We water the seeds already planted
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects
far beyond our capabilities.

"We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of
liber+tion in realizing this.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's
grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the
difference between the master builder and the worker.

"We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not
messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own."


St. Peter's Church 823 Water Street  P. O. Box 399 Port Royal, Virginia 22535  804-742-5908.  Reverend Catherine D. Hicks, Priest-in-Charge, stpetersrev@gmail.com;    Site Map