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Anglican FAQ #16: Praying the Great Litany

The Anglican liturgical tradition gives us a most needed gift during this difficult time: The Great Litany. What is it and how do we use it? From our service bulletin for the First Sunday in Lent:

“This litany was the first piece of liturgy written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1544 based on the ancient litanies of the church. The Great Litany was included in the Prayer Book of 1549 and every successive Prayer Book and was meant to be sung responsively during a procession. Historically it was sung on the first, second, third, and fifth Sundays of Lent, but now is typically only sung on the first Sunday.”

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/SU32MkNE6qY

More FAQ videos are available at: https://ncchagerstown.org/faq-video-series/

A Pastoral Letter for This Present Time

To the People of New Creation Church (Anglican):

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”(John 20:19)

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O death, where is your victory?

    O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)

There are two great words written over the life of every Christian. The first word is this: “Peace be with you.” Like the disciples in John 20, we are shown the wounds of the Lord Jesus, comforted by his risen presence, and received into fellowship with God through the forgiveness of our sins.

The second word, the last word of the Christian life, if you like, is this: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” As believers in Jesus, death, though a painful and present reality, can do nothing more than deliver us into the hands of our Lord, there to rest and await a new heavens and new earth “in which righteousness dwells.” (1 Peter 3:13) 

In the meantime, however, Creation continues to groan inwardly because of its bondage to corruption and decay (Romans 8:20-23). The saints experience this groaning along with the rest of the world. As St. Augustine said, the church is “with, for, and against” the world. We suffer with, weep with, and mourn with the rest of our culture as we see and experience this virus as an expression of life in a fallen world.

Nonetheless, having then the assurance of these two great words spoken over the lives of each Christian, how ought we to live in times such as these? While it is clear that we must now, out of a love of neighbor, make responsible changes to our personal and corporate life, we must also demonstrate to the world around us (our neighbors) the power of these two great words. Fear, organizationally and individually, must not dominate us. Panic must not dominate us. For, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

So, what does this look like on a practical level? Well, the situation continues to evolve rapidly, with new recommendations given on an almost daily basis. In light of this, the Vestry and I have had to re-evaluate our response to the virus. So, as of today, New Creation will be following the recommendation of the CDC (as well as of our Bishop) and will be moving to fully online services for at least the next eight weeks (that is, through Sunday, May 10). All presently scheduled services will continue as planned, albeit online. In addition, corporate Mid-Day Prayer will be offered three times a week via Facebook Live. I am confident that we will also be able to start our next Sunday School block online too. Regular pastoral support will be provided throughout this period. Additional details and directions will be given for all of the above as soon as possible.

Additionally, let each of us, as individuals and families, remember that we are well-equipped through the Prayer Book tradition for such a time as this. The Daily Office (daily scripture intake and prayer) is available to all of us via this link, or your own Prayer Book. Church may be cancelled – be assured that worship never is.

During this time, we will become the New Creation diaspora – a scattered family. But, Christ remains our center, and that center is more than strong enough to hold us together. In fact, I believe that there is a great opportunity here. Though we are quarantined, I believe that we will see territory conquered for Christ. With St. Paul, let us believe that the Gospel is never chained. (2 Tim. 2:9) More locally, I believe we will see our community grow and become stronger than ever during this time. By God’s grace, I believe we will emerge from this time a more loving, kind, generous, caring, thoughtful, and Christ-exalting people than we were before. 

Lastly, I want to encourage and exhort you to reach out to one another regularly. Call one another. Lift one another up. Pray for one another. Exchange letters with one another. Take the initiative! Social media and our church directory make it oh so easy! If you are not in our directory, please contact Sally Breisch and she will get you set up. See you online.

Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11-13),

The Rev. Justin Clemente

Parish Priest

New Creation Church (Anglican)

revjustin [at] ncchagerstown.org

New Creation Church Outreach Event- Quad State Beer Fest Outreach

The Quad State Beer Fest has been postponed. When we receive more details, we will let you know. Stay tuned and stay safe!

Welcome to New Creation!

In the name of Jesus, welcome to our church family’s website. Grace and peace to you.  We’re a growing church community in Hagerstown and we’re part of something amazing God is doing in the tri-state area. We’re part of a movement of solid, Gospel-preaching, Christ-exalting churches practicing a new-yet-old way to be Christian. Have a look around  – I think you’ll find New Creation to be a very welcoming group of people and a very unique church community with a great sense of mission in and to the Hagerstown community. We look forward to meeting you soon (in fact, why not this Sunday?)!

Exalt the triune God. Disciple together. Love our neighbor with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

— The Rev. Justin Clemente, Parish Pastor

Seek God for the City (40 Days of Prayer)

As New Creation continues to take its place at the center of our city, we come back to an emphasis on the need for repentance and prayer. Both for ourselves, and the community the Lord has called us to serve in the Gospel. We’ll be using a WayMakers.org resource called “Seek God for the City.” You can get your free copy at New Creation this Sunday.

Biblical Stations of the Cross (6:30 pm, March 25th)

Join us for the Biblical Stations of the Cross.
The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion for many centuries because they enable us to engage actively with the path of suffering walked by Jesus.
They originated when early Christians visited Jerusalem and wanted to follow literally in the footsteps of Jesus, tracing the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. They would pause for prayer and devotion at various points. Eventually those pilgrims brought the practice back to their home countries and ever since then Christians of differing traditions have used this form of devotion.
– Common Worship: Times and Seasons
This “Scriptural Stations” service is presented here as an alternative to the traditional stations and as a way of reflecting more deeply on the Scriptural accounts of Christ’s passion.

Art by Michael O’Brien. Used with permission.

Palm Sunday 2020 (April 5, 10:00 AM)

Holy Week begins with out Palm Sunday service – 10:00 am sharp in the city square!