St. Stephen’s Easter Offerings Include Focus on Youth

Beginning with a Maundy Thursday service on April 17 at 7:30 p.m., St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 351 Main St., has a full schedule of Holy Week observances.

            “We are entering into the Mystery of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through worship,” said the Rev. Whitney Altopp, rector of St. Stephen’s.  “This year, in addition to our inclusion of special music, we are paying particular attention to children and parents.”

            On Good Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon, the church is offering “Walk With Jesus,” which will guide parents, children and teens along Jesus’ footsteps during his last days on earth. The event will help families experience the Easter story in age-appropriate ways, including baking Resurrection Cookies. 

            The Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. will be supported by a trio of professional singers - William Joyner, Giustino Capodilupo, and St. Stephen's Minister of Music, Scott Toperzer.  Together they will lead the music of the service through psalms, hymns, and a dramatic chanting of the Passion according to St. John.  Unlike past years, the Ridgefield Clergy Association will not hold a community Good Friday afternoon service.

            On Holy Saturday at 7:30 p.m. the Easter Vigil service will feature the symbolisms of the season, including fire, light, music and bells.  The church’s youth choir, the St. Stephen’s Choristers, will join with the adult choir. “This is a wonderful service for people who want the celebration of Easter without the crowds of Easter morning,” Rev. Altopp said.  “After the service everyone is invited to break the fast of Lent at a reception designed for all ages.  It will feature a chocolate fountain and punch!”

            The three services on Easter Sunday, April 20, are: Morning Prayer at 6:30 and a Festival Eucharist at 9 and 11 a.m.  The Festival services will feature a brass quintet and timpani and the St. Stephen’s Choir. Organist Arno Steinig will perform a prelude by J.S. Bach and postlude by the Swedish composer Otto Emanuel Olsson.


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