Holy Week and Easter 2021

Holy Week in the Time of Covid

Holy Week is the most important week in Christ Church’s liturgical calendar and that of the whole Church. But as we’ve learned over the past 13 months, worship in the time of a pandemic requires flexibility in the interests of safety.

Our Holy Week services in 2021 nevertheless revealed our commitment to tradition along with our embrace of change. What hasn’t changed is the importance of recalling the Lord’s passion and death so we can rejoice in the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Please enjoy the following photographs of our Holy Week and Easter services.

Maundy Thursday
Pictured is the altar of repose following the stripping of the altar in preparation for parishioners keeping prayerful vigil overnight–this year, virtually.

Good Friday
Here, Mother Lisa S. Mitchell, our rector, presents the cross for veneration by congregants during our Good Friday service.

Holy Saturday Vigil and Egg Hunt
On a chilly but sunny Holy Saturday evening, our outdoor service included the lighting of the Easter fire and the musical abilities of our young parishioner and trumpet player P.J. Reyes.

Then, our annual Easter Egg Hunt was enjoyed by the many children attending the service, including those who luckily found the ‘Hallelujah’ eggs.

A similar Easter Egg hunt was held following the festive Eucharist on Easter Sunday morning at 11:00 am, which featured a baptism in addition to impressive organ playing and some choir members singing hymns, following social distance guidelines.

Happy Easter to all!

Hallelujah Egg Winners

Palm Sunday 2021

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Christ Church Bids Fond Farewell to Chris Psolka After 20 Years of Service

The tenure of our long-serving music director Chris Psolka ran from the Church’s 300th anniversary to providing music for worship during a pandemic. But Sunday, February 28, 2021 marked the formal retirement of Christine J. Psolka as Christ Church’s beloved organist and choir mistress.

At the 10:00 am service on the 28th, our rector, Mother Lisa S. Mitchell, voiced her gratitude for Chris’s many years of service, presenting her with a framed set of photographs from her years at the church, along with other gifts from the vestry, with several choir members offering her flowers.

 

Chris’s service began in 2001 when she was named interim Choir Director/Organist for the church’s Tri-Centennial Year celebration. That Jubilee Year featured much music-making by the Church’s St. Gregory Choir, and collaborations with the choir of Christ Church Middletown and the New Jersey Chamber Singers. Chris was named Music Director in 2002.

Over the years she enhanced the worship experience in countless ways through her playing on our tracker organ and the piano and by her own singing. She coached children and adolescent singers, and brought in numerous guest instrumentalists and singers, especially at Christmas and for Holy Week and Easter. She enticed her husband and children—Jamie Green, Annie Psolka-Green, and Kevin Psolka-Green—to play and sing with St. Gregory’s Choir. And she brought her singing friends in MadRegalia to perform in the Church several times, notably at the 300th anniversary of our ‘Vinegar Bible’ when the group sang a number of Handel’s contemporaneous Chandos Anthems (including Thou Art the Glory of Their Strength).

Chris will be missed by all and we hope to see her again at Christ Church functions in the future as a ‘civilian.’

 

 

Church Holds 318th Annual Meeting

Amid Pandemic, Church’s 2021 Annual Meeting Was a Bit Different

Christ Church’s 318th Annual Meeting was held on January 24, 2021 after the 10:00 a.m. church service. Church members were able to view the annual proceedings
via  Zoom videoconference while those attending in person
maintained social distancing in the Parish Hall.

New Vestry members were elected–see the About Us section of the site for their names and responsibilities–while Mother Lisa Mitchell complimented outgoing vestry member
Dianne Regiec for her service.

The in-person and virtual members of the Church paused to express their gratitude to two long-time members, Ann and Jim Miller, who may be departing the area soon.

Epiphany Pageant 2021

Epiphany Pageant 2021

Rockefeller’s Very Exciting Adventure

Very exciting story of Rockefeller’s adventure learning about the birth of Jesus and the visit from the Wisemen.

 

 

St Nick visit 2020

ST NICK MAKES HIS ANNUAL VISIT TO CHRIST CHURCH

The Bishop of Myra visited Christ Church on the 2nd Sunday in Advent. He addressed the congregation about safety during this troubled time but principally spoke to the children about light and the importance of the community. He also distributed chocolate gold covered wafers.

Blessing of animals 2020

Blessing of Animals

It was a great day to come out to participate in our drive through blessing of the animals. Most of our guests were furry with the exception of a favorite turtle that visited.

Gravestone cleaning/rubbing workshop

GRAVESTONE CLEANING/RUBBING WORKSHOP

The second of three events celebrating October is Graveyard Month was held in the graveyard on Saturday Oct 12. The effort was led by Friend of Christ Church Jennifer Shamrock and parishioner Jenn Lovekin. There were about 12 participants most of whom are members of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Some husbands came as well. Many granite gravemarkers were spruced up.

Oct 5th Graveyard Tour

OCTOBER 5TH GRAVEYARD GUIDED TOUR

On October 5th Christ Church held another graveyard 300th anniversary event. The day was crisp and sunny. Ryan Radice led about 25 visitors through the graveyard telling about Notable Figures, Gravestone Artistry, and Special Features. Judi Buncher came as Louise Jost and Stuart Buncher as a WWI private. Judi also took some beautiful photographs. This was our third and last Guided Graveyard Tour of 2019.

300th Graveyard Anniversary Celebration

300th GRAVEYARD ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

On September 7th the parish and about 60 friends of Christ Church celebrated the graveyard’s 300th anniversary. There were numerous elements of this special event. First there were multiple sequential tours in the graveyard on a gorgeous late summer day. These included a discussion of Notable Figures led by Ryan Radice, Graveyard Artistry described by Dr. Richard Veit of Monmouth University, the role of gravestone condition assessment and restoration specifications elucidated by Lorraine Schnabel, our graveyard conservator, descriptions of specific gravemarker restorations by Stephanie Hoagland of Jablonski Building Conservation, special gravestone restorations by Peter Woolley of Peaceable Kingdom, and a description of the Heritage Rose Meditation Garden by Terese Blake.

During these tours Mother Lisa dedicated a special gravemarker for Judge John Faucheraud Grimke’. This was unveiled by Ms. Benay Lipstein who as a friend of Christ Church took a special interest in the Grimke’s and contributed to the marker.

After the outside activities the visitors repaired to the parish house for a reception hosted by Dianne and Dave Regiec. After the meal Dr. Veit gave his classic presentation about New Jersey graveyards.

Also in the parish house the church recognized the contributions of several individuals to our historic graveyard, The parish gave a set of HRMG notecards to each of the members of Edith’s Angels who have been faithfully tending that award winning garden: Terese Blake, Sue Berdahl, Robin Blair, Ellen Preissler, and Nancy Stewart. For his long term partnership with Christ Church, the parish gave Dr, Veit a lithograph of the church and graveyard drawn by Sanford Ross.

At the event we also announced the release of the Video version of the graveyard Self-Guided Tour that is available through our web site.