Special Services

Our liturgical year begins on Advent Sunday. Advent Sunday is four Sunday’s prior to Christmas Day, and normally falls four Sundays before Christmas, on the last Sunday in November or less frequently on the first Sunday in December.

During the year we hold services that mark special days in the Christian year. These services will be listed in the calendar and monthly lists.

Nine Lessons and Carols – a service where we hear readings from the Old and New Testaments relating to the coming and birth of our Lord Jesus, and we sing carols old and new.

Ash Wednesday – a service that reminds us of our mortality and invites us to have a period of 40 days of reflection, repentance and preparation for Holy Week. It is traditionally a time for study and a period of fasting or giving up something.

Palm Sunday – a service at the start of Holy Week that joyously celebrates Jesus’ entry in to Jerusalem, but which includes a reading of the Passion Narrative, describing Jesus’ last week and his death.

Holy Week – during the week before Easter Sunday we hold services every day, in conjunction with the other churches in Penicuik.

Maundy Thursday – We hold a service in the evening where we strip the altar and leave the church bare, symbolic of Christ’s passion and death. A candle lit prayer vigil is held in the Peace Chapel at the end of the service, for as long as people wish to remain there.

Good Friday – We hold three services on good Friday. The first is at noon, the second at 1pm and lastly at 2 pm we finish our Good Friday services with a short service of communion and silence, as we reflect on the death of our Lord.

Easter Day – A service of celebration as we acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death.

Patronal Festival for St James the Less –  a service on the Sunday closest to 1st June, celebrating the apostle whose name was assigned to our church.

Music Sunday – a service celebrating the part music has to play in contributing to our experiences of worship in church.

Creation Tide – services during September where we focus on God’s creation, and lamenting and challenging ourselves about humankind’s detrimental impact on the earth.

Harvest Festival (1st Sunday in October) – celebrating the safe gathering in of the harvest for another year, and offering gifts of food to those who are without.

Blessing of Animals (Sunday closest to 4th October, St Francis Day) – An opportunity to bless our pets who are our constant companions.

All Saints Day – when we remember all those who have died in the service of the church.

All Souls Day –  when we remember all we know who have died, especially those who have died in the last year. It is a time for reflection and thanksgiving for lives that have touched us.

Remembrance Sunday – when we remember those who have died in defence of our country during times of war, and we pray for peace in lands where there is no peace.

Christ the King (the Sunday before Advent Sunday) – the last Sunday in our liturgical year, where we celebrate that Jesus, the Messiah, or the Christ, is our Lord and Saviour.

Penicuik Churches Together Joint Services – ecumenical services are held together, as well as outdoor services and activities such as carol singing in the town centre.

Forest Church – an occasional experience out of doors, especially for those who do not find indoors church something they connect with, but do connect with a sense of God or ‘the other’, a sense of awe by being in creation.