St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church invites everyone to its Epiphany Festival of Light service on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at 6 p.m. in the church sanctuary. And on the same day at noon, St. Andrew’s will conduct its first weekly Healing Holy Eucharist (Communion).
The Festival of Lights is set on the Feast of the Epiphany, which in ancient times was called the “Feast of Lights.” It celebrates the divinity of Christ, as revealed by significant historical events in his life, including his birth, his baptism, and the visit of the magi or wise men, who bore gifts for the newborn Jesus. The early Christian Church selected January 6 to transform the Winter solstice, observed on that date in some places in the first century, from a celebration of the sun to a celebration of the Son.
According to the Rev. Jo Popham, “The service can be particularly engaging and evocative. Its core is a tracing of the history of St. Andrew’s from Jesus to the present, accompanied by the lighting of candles representing key figures in our historical timeline. It provides an opportunity to connect our present with our past not only as a church community, but also in our personal lives. It is a time to remember all those who have been especially supportive to us on our spiritual journeys.”
The new weekday healing service, also beginning on Jan. 6, will include special prayers for healing of our community and individual infirmities and afflictions. When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it also will include the opportunity for laying on of hands and anointing.
St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea, located at 307 Harbor Blvd. in Destin, is a dynamic Episcopal Church, intentionally diverse, sustained by sacramental worship, serving the community since 1928 in Christ’s name both within and without its walls. The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, which boasts 80 million members in 160 countries around the world.