S. Stephen's offers many opportunities for study, exploration, and practice of faith, through our annual Lenten Series, Quiet Days, occasional Pilgrimages and Retreats, and our Devotional Societies.
We offer two quiet days each year, one during Advent and one during Lent. Quiet days offer the opportunity for communal worship, prayer, and introspection. We begin the day with Morning Prayer at 9 am and Low Mass at 9:30 am, followed by a simple breakfast in our Great Hall. After a chance for fellowship, we put on silence and move to the Lady Chapel to listen to the first of three meditations by an invited guest. Each meditation is followed by a period of free time where participants can read, walk, meditate, or sit quietly, as they are moved. We return to the Lady Chapel for a second meditation, followed by Angelus, Noonday Prayer, and lunch. A third and final meditation ends with the breaking of silence, tea, and discussion. Participants find these Quiet Days a welcome respite from the clamour and activity of daily life, and a meaningful time of preparation according to the season.
Advent Quiet Day 2019
Lenten Quiet Day 2020
In many years parishioners have the opportunity to go on silent retreat with members of the clergy. Some of our past retreat destinations have been the Society of Saint Edmund at Enders Island in Mystic, Connecticut; Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Massachusetts; and the Community of Saint Mary in Greenwich, New York. Guest speakers are invited to give addresses, and the retreat includes the daily round of Offices and Mass, along with plenty of free time for personal reading, reflection, prayer, and meditation.
During the five weeks of Lent, S. Stephen's offers a series of lectures on a variety of topics. Each of the five evenings includes Daily Office, a light dinner, and a presentation by clergy and invited guests. Previous Lenten Series have covered such topics as “Science, Religion, and Extraterrestrials," "Church Windows as Western Iconography," "150 Years on George Street: Scenes From the Life of S. Stephen’s," and "St. John's Passion set to Music." The Lenten series presents an opportunity for learning, discussion, and fellowship during the weeks leading up to Holy Week and Easter.
This year's topic is yet to be determined.