Welcome to Grace Anglican Church
We have moved to a new worship location. Grace Anglican Church will be conducting Sunday morning worship at the Congregation of Agudat Achim, a Jewish Synagogue located at 268 Washington St., Leominster.
The chapel space they offer is more conducive to worship than a conference room, it's more visually and spatially welcoming to visitors. It offers us side rooms for child care and coffee hour. We have our Bishop's blessings and pray our Lord will use this move to help us continue to bring the transforming love of Christ to our communities.
Grace Anglican Church was officially established in October of 2010, but it really began in January of that year when twenty like minded folks met with Bishop William Murdoch from the Anglican Diocese of New England. The excitement was palpable as Bishop Bill described how the Anglican Church in North America is at the forefront of a nationwide 'revival' and how many are coming to know the saving Grace of Jesus Christ.
From that meeting a "steering committee" was created consisting of John and Holly Deery, Rick and Chris Malo and Gail Gardner. The group of 5 met weekly to determine the feasability of planting an Anglican Church in the Fitchburg/Leominster area.
They studied God's word facilitated by an Intervarsity study based on "Costly Grace" by Deitrich Bonnhoeffer. They also studied the 39 Articles of Religion found in the Book of Common Prayer, reviewed and agreed to the canons of ADNE and the truths set forth in the Jerusalem Declaration.
These foundational beliefs outline the core beliefs held not only by the founders of Grace Anglican Church, but also the Angican Church in North America. Grace Anglican Church is a member in good standing of the Anglican Diocese in New England and of the larger Anglican Church in North America.
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly
Our mission is to be a visible church of Christ, a congregation of faithful followers in which the Word of God is preached. Our vision is to create an atmosphere where faith is possible.
"Come to church! You can do that of your own free will. You can leave your home on a Sunday morning and come to hear the sermon. If you will not, you are of your own free will excluding yourself from the place where faith is a possibility." Deitrich Bonnhoeffer
The Anglican Diocese in New England
ADNE is a united Anglican movement in New England seeking to exhibit such irresistible spiritual power in Word and Sacrament that people are drawn into a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ and become members of the Body of Christ, His Church.
ADNE is a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the worldwide Anglican Communion, united in our commitment to make disciples of Jesus Christ, plant churches in New England and work with other believers to plant churches in the United States and worldwide.
"Let the church be the church!"
A rallying cry from John MacKay, missionary statesman and ecumenical leader of an earlier generation.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses. . . . . to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
"Triduum" is Latin for "three days," and it refers to the final sequence of days during Holy Week: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Together they tell, remember, and reenact the final days of Jesus' pre-resurrection life. Thursday was the Last Supper, his arrest, and abandonment by his disciples. That's why we have a mostly-normal Communion service that ends with the shock of stripping the altar and leaving in silence without any benediction or blessing or dismissal. That's also to highlight the fact that the story isn't over yet: Jesus' trials continued overnight and into the next day, leading up to his condemnation, crucifixion, and death. The picture attached is of the reserved bread & wine covered in white linens with a candle keeping vigil. This is what would normally be called an "altar of repose." Jesus' last day, Good Friday, is characterized by a much more solemn worship service than usual. The prayers include periods of silence, and Communion is not celebrated. Instead, some consecrated bread and wine is reserved on Thursday to be received today. The tradition of not consecrating any more bread and wine on Good Friday and Saturday is best understood in the context of historic Western Christianity: normally throughout the year priests celebrate daily mass - celebrating each day the death and resurrection of Christ. But on these two days that patterns stops. Because for two brief days, as we're walking through Holy Week and the Triduum and approaching Easter, we follow Christ to his death. Once the reserved bread and wine are consumed on Friday, his sacramental presence on earth is completely gone. This is a dramatic recapturing of his death! Holy Saturday is a short and quiet worship service meditating on the repose of Jesus in the tomb - his Sabbath rest, if you will. Like the first disciples, it is a time of quiet uncertainty, but unlike them it's a time of waiting, since we already know the whole story, and that he will rise again. Saturday night is the tradition of the Great Vigil of Easter. This is arguably the most sublime and beautiful worship service in the entire tradition of the Church. It begins in darkness with the light of Christ being symbolically re-lit on a special candle. It continues with a series of readings from the Old Testament, tracing the story of God's salvation for the human race throughout history, finally culminating in the moment all this has been building up to: the joyful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus!
Fr. Matthew †
Vicar of Fitchburg