Special Times for Worship

At Seneca Presbyterian Church, we order our time by the seasons of the Church Year. Those seasons represent meaning and traditions that have blessed Christian worship for centuries. The Church Year begins four Sundays before Christmas. That is the season we call Advent. We mark forty days before Easter in the season of Lent. The picture displayed here shows the other seasons and special times of the Church Year. It also shows the colors associated with the seasons: purple, white, green, and red. At Seneca Presbyterian, we mark the season of Advent with blue.


The Church Year provides special opportunities for worship. You can read more about the Advent/Christmas seasons and the Lent/Easter seasons below. In addition to these seasons we also celebrate All Saints Sunday in early November.  Every other year, we celebrate a special Scottish Presbyterian tradition with our Kirking of the Tartans.

Advent and Christmas

Advent is a season of anticipation as we prepare to receive once again the gift of God's love and presence that we believe came to us  first as a baby in a manger. For the four weeks before Christmas, as we gather for worship each Sunday morning, we light an Advent candle that reminds us of hope, peace, joy, and love.


At Seneca Presbyterian Church, we also offer a worship service that we call "Quiet Christmas" sometime during the month of December. It is an opportunity to remember that not everything about Christmas is always filled with joy and light. Christmas can also bring sadness as people remember the losses in their lives, especially the loss of those persons who were special to them. Quiet Christmas is also meant to provide an oasis of calm amid the chaos of the season.


On Christmas Eve, we typically gather for two special services. One highlights children where any child present can be a part of an impromptu Christmas pageant. Through that pageant, the Christmas story is told in a wonderfully delightful way. Later in the evening, we also gather in a more traditional way for a service of scripture, carols, candles, and communion.


Anyone is welcomed to join us for either or both services. You can check the What's Happening page for current times.

Lent and Easter

Lent is a season of penitence and preparation for the glorious celebration of Easter Sunday,  the most important day of the Church Year. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with Holy Week,  the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. It lasts for forty days, but Sunday are not included in that count. That is because every Sunday is a "little Easter," even during Lent.


At Seneca Presbyterian Church, we gather for worship on Ash Wednesday. It is a day for marking our foreheads with ashes as a sign of our mortality and sin, the sin we believe is redeemed by Jesus on the cross.


During the season of Lent, we join with other churches in Seneca for weekly worship opportunities at noon each Wednesday. The worship service is followed by a luncheon that is free and open to the public. Each church that participates in this Lenten series serves as host for one of these Wednesdays. During the Lenten season, you can check for a current schedule in the What's Happening section of this website.

 

During Holy Week, we participate with other Oconee County Presbyterian churches  in sponsoring evening opportunities for worship. Again, you can check out current plans in the What's Happening section.


On Easter Sunday morning our worship begins early. We gather outdoors just before the sun rises for a worship service that greets the dawn on the most holy day of the year. That service is typically followed by Easter Sunday breakfast and our two typical services of worship. Yet worship on Easter Sunday is never typical!

All Saints

Once a year, Christians gather to remember the saints of the church. All Saints Day is November 1, the day after All Saints Eve, otherwise known as All Hallows Eve or Halloween. Protestant Christians consider all who seek to follow Jesus are made saints through the grace of God.


At Seneca Presbyterian, All Saints Sunday (typically the first Sunday in November) is an opportunity to remember the saints of our church family who have died during the previous year. Their names are mentioned in the service of worship. Candles are also available for worshipers to light in honor or memory of other saints in their lives. Following the worship service, we gather in our Memorial Garden for a brief service of remembering the saints whose ashes are interred there.

Kirking of the Tartans

Presbyterians have roots in Scotland. We recognize that legacy with a special tradition observed every other year (odd numbered years.) The Kirking of the Tartans is a day for Scottish pageantry and bagpipes. Kirk is the Scottish term for the church. The Kirking is an opportunity for Scottish clans to gather in a service of worship to celebrate their heritage and acknowledge their common faith in God.


At Seneca Presbyterian, our Kirking typically happens on the last Sunday in October. (In 2017, the Kirking will take place on October 22 at our 11:00 service.)  Over the years members have contributed tartan flags representing their family ancestry. On Kirking day, anyone can be Scottish and anyone can carry a tartan flag. Led by a piper, the parade of tartans begins the service of worship. The service goes on to highlight the strengths of our Scottish heritage and a few fun Scottish customs as well. We close out the morning with lunch together. Don't worry: we don't serve haggis!