Saint Stephen’s is a “parish in the classical Anglican tradition”, but what does that mean? First and foremost, it means that our spiritual life is focused on the Bible, and the confession of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. We use the King James Version (the “Authorised Version”) in our services and our study groups—and not just because it’s “traditional”. For a thorough explanation of why we use the KJV (with other translations as necessary and helpful), see “Why We Use the King James Version”.
Secondly, being a “parish in the classical Anglican tradition” means that our liturgical life is focused on the Book of Common Prayer, specifically the 1928 Prayer Book (with one significant exception, but we’ll get to that in a moment). Saint Stephen’s makes full use of the Prayer Book. Holy Communion is featured prominently on our service schedule, of course: Sunday services are at 8:00 AM and 9:15 AM, and we have weekday services, too. (See the Schedule of Services.) But Saint Stephen’s is one of the few parishes in the country which still regularly presents the service of Morning Prayer, most Sundays at 11:00 AM. (The 11 AM service on the first Sunday of the month is Holy Communion.)
Like a somewhat larger number of parishes, Saint Stephen’s also presents Choral Evensong on a regular basis: first Sundays of the month during the school year. What sets our Evensong services apart, however, is the presence of our Choir of Men and Boys, who sing music from the classical Anglican choral tradition. (See the Choir’s home page for information on upcoming services and repertory, and to sign up for the Choir’s mailing list.)
And that exception to using the 1928 Prayer Book? For our Holy Communion and Evensong services, we use the 1662 Prayer Book (which is still the “current” Prayer Book back in England). The 1662 Communion Service is more compact and has a somewhat more logical flow. And we use the Coverdale Psalter, as it appears in the 1662 BCP because, well, of tradition. Choirs had been using the Coverdale Psalter for centuries before the 1928 revision, which may be marginally more accurate (like the KJV translation), but not as musical.
It follows from our Bible– and Prayer Book–centered life that community outreach plays an important part in the life of the Parish. Our clergy and pastoral care staff make regular visits to shut–ins and residents of local hospitals and assisted living facilities. (See the Schedule of Services for services of Holy Communion celebrated at those locations.) The Parish also actively supports a number of local charities: At Jacob’s Well, which serves the homeless mentally ill of Baltimore; Heifer International, which provides live farm animals to families as a source of food and income; and the Christ Child Society of Baltimore, which provides practical support to families with children. The Parish also holds regular blood drives in cooperation with the Red Cross.
Finally, being a “parish in the classical Anglican tradition” means that we have fun. Our annual Cookie Walk in December, and British Garden Party and Fête in May, are neighbourhood legends. The Fall and Spring Picnics are always well attended and well enjoyed, as are our Silly Summer Suppers (which now feature an after–supper game of Bingo).
Please stop by for one of our services or other parochial activities: we think you’ll enjoy what you find—and find what you need. God bless.