A Christian community of all ages

grounded in worship, well-being, and service.

March 23 - March 29, 2024

From the Rector

Dear Friends, 

We are about to step into a love story with many twists and turns, not only in the plot, but in the thoughts and feelings we will experience. Holy Week is a time like no other.

We step into it this weekend with the Liturgy of the Palms, and a community procession. This recalls Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The ritual will include a joyous singing of "All glory, laud, and honor." I can remember a former mentor of mine, The Rev. Bill Payton, using the palm branches to tease acolytes who had their hands full and could not retaliate. Other processions I can remember included banners and tambourines.

It can be quite a ruckus, just as we imagine it was when Jesus was hailed as the messiah entering Jerusalem. He was greeted by cheering crowds, waving palm branches, hailing him as their king, and shouting their blessings and hosannas...until something shifted.

By the end of the week, they were shouting something else entirely. Pilate asked the crowds, "What do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?" They shouted in response, "Crucify him!" Later, they mocked him, shouting and saluting, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

This whole day can be a bit jarring, shifting as it does from joyous celebration to confusion, betrayal and sorrow. Our worship will take us on this journey along with Jesus and the crowds.

The time we will spend together in community this week will also have its ups and downs. The point is that we take this Holy Week journey together and welcome our guests as our traveling companions.

Many of you have been preparing for awhile now, to welcome the rest of the community into God's great love story. We have definitely had some fun together getting ready. Our Great Vigil planning team had some silliness along with our soup and skits. Working with the musicians and staff, we have shared some laughs as well as what feels like a thousand draft bulletins. And as you can see in the video above, our acolytes are ready! Huge thanks to Meaghan for training them, and capturing their joy, with her inimitable video editing. See you on the way!

Faithfully, Jennifer


The church office will be closed the week after Easter, April 1 - 5th. Meaghan will be available for pastoral emergencies.


in the

Coming Weeks

Weekly worship services:

Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and

Sunday at 10:00 a.m. in

the historic church.

Palm Saturday and Sunday, 3.23 at 5:00 and 3.24 at 10:00, Worship in historic church.

  • Liturgy of the Palms (blessing and procession of the palms) at both services
  • 3.24 at 10:00 -- Choir School of Newport County joins us in worship.
  • Bring in Easter egg candy. (See below under well-being.)

Wednesday, 3.27

  • 4:00 p.m., Southside Studio, Lower Level Parish House -- Living Well Through Lent: A Weekly Reflection Group
  • Last day to donate Easter egg candy. (See below under well-being.)
  • Special eNews for Triduum Sacrum and Easter

Monday, 4.1 - Friday, 4.5, Church office closed

Tuesday, 4.8, 9:00 a.m., Church office reopens

For a calendar of all of St. Mary's activities visit our website.

Join us for Holy Week services as we move through the last days of Jesus's life and remember his triumphant resurrection over death.

Palm Saturday and Sunday, 3.23 at 5:00 and 3.24 at 10:00, Worship in historic church.

  • Blessing and procession of the palms at both services
  • 3.24 at 10:00 -- Choir School of Newport County joins us in worship.

Triduum Sacrum, The Three Holy Days

  • Maundy Thursday, 3.28 at 7:00 p.m., Worship in historic church. Will be streamed.
  • Good Friday, 3.29 at 7:00 p.m., Worship in historic church. Will be streamed.
  • Great Vigil of Easter, 3.30 at 7:30 p.m., The most holy service of the year. We will gather at the new fire, and celebrate a night like no other.
  • Joyous celebration following worship in the parish house. The chocolate fountain will be flowing!

Easter Sunday, 3.31

  • 9:00 a.m., Worship in historic church. Worship will be streamed.
  • 10:15 a.m., Easter egg hunt, Parish House
  • 11:00 a.m., Worship in historic church

Click on the image above for the weekly bulletin.

Liturgical Ministers for Saturday at 5:00 and Sunday at 10:00 are listed in the bulletin.

Worship on Sundays at 10:00  is live-streamed on Facebook. Use the comment section to say hello. We are trying to make better connections between those who are in person and those who are at home.

Lay leaders offer Evening Prayer Monday through Friday at 5:30 p.m. online via Facebook Live. You do not need to have Facebook in order to participate. If you cannot make it at 5:30, the service will be recorded and remain on the St. Mary's Facebook page until the next Evening Prayer.

Prayer requests for individuals can be added to the prayers of the people on Sunday mornings and in the daily evening prayers by contacting Parish Administrator, Karen Laroche. We typically keep people in the prayers for one month.




Easter Egg Candy

Nothing like candy to help with well-being!

Please donate wrapped candy for our Easter egg hunt on Easter.

You can bring candy on the next two Saturdays and Sundays (3.16 & 3.17 and 3.23 & 3.24). A basket will be available in the historic church entryway for your donations. Also, you can drop them off at the parish house Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The deadline to donate is Wednesday, March 27.

Parish Reports Online

The 2023 Annual Report is now available online. The parish accepted this report at the February 2024 annual meeting.

The January and February vestry minutes and treasurer's report are now available online.

Community News

Communication & Other Announcements
Have an announcement?

Please use this form to digitally share information about your ministry. This enables those who are working on the eNews, website, and Facebook (and other social media) to have the information in one place and accessible to everyone who needs it. The deadline for publication in eNews is noon on Wednesday before publication on Friday. If you have questions, please contact website@smcportsmouth.org.
For all other types of communication:

Contact the rector if you'd like it verbally announced at worship. 
Contact parish administrator Karen Laroche to be included in writing in the weekly worship bulletin.

St. Mary's Staff

Rector: The Rev. Jennifer L. Pedrick, jennifer@smcportsmouth.org

Associate Rector: The Rev. Meaghan Brower, meaghan@smcportsmouth.org

Parish Administrator: Karen Laroche, karen@smcportsmouth.org

Property Manager: Jon Walker, jon@smcportsmouth.org

St. Mary's Officers

To contact an officer of the vestry, please see our website.

Image credits: Richard Grosvenor, Historic Church, watercolor, used with permission.

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