On Good Friday, the pulpit at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will feature brief meditations on the “seven last words of Jesus” by five lay and ordained ministers. The Reverend Dr. Rodney S. Sadler of Union Presbyterian Seminary and Sardis Baptist Church, St. Peter’s church member Elizabeth Richardson, and the Reverends Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, L. Murdock Smith, and Ollie V. Rencher will preach during the three-hour service on April 3. Established in 1834, the historic church is located at the corner of N. Tryon and W. Seventh streets in Uptown.
Officiated by the Reverend Jonathan E. Soyars, the noon to 3:00 p.m. Good Friday service will include chanting of the Passion narrative, intentional silence, exceptional music for choir and organ, hymns, and the solemn act of venerating the Cross. While many worshipers often attend for three hours, others have needed and are welcome to come and go for a variety of reasons.
Father Ollie Rencher, Rector of St. Peter’s, shares that, “This dramatic service reflects one of many ways for our parish church to boldly proclaim the spectacular story about the unconditional love, justice, and reconciling power of Jesus. It will be a gift to hear brief sermons about the Crucifixion from a variety of voices before we celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Day.”
The Good Friday service is a core aspect of Christians’ observance of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, which falls this year on March 29. Palm Sunday services typically include the Procession of Palms and reading of the Passion Gospel. St. Peter’s will offer a host of services between Holy Week and Eastertide.