St. Michael's Church in Marblehead begins 300th anniversary celebrations

St. Michael's Church in Marblehead will be turning the clocks back to the early 1700's on Nov. 17, as it prepares to start a year-long celebration in honor of its 300th anniversary in 2014.

The church will begin its tercentenary celebration events on Sunday, Nov. 17 with the first in a series of historical liturgies celebrating different versions of the Book of Common Prayer, an Anglican cornerstone first written for the Church of England by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th century.  

All are welcome to attend.

The Nov. 17 services of Holy Communion—an 8 a.m. spoken service and a 10 a.m. service with music—will be based on the Church of England’s 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which would have been used when St. Michael's Church was first built in 1714.

"These services will be a great way to appreciate the evolution of our liturgy and worship over three centuries in the same building," said the Rev. Andrew Stoessel, Rector of St. Michael's Church, in a prepared release. "We considered a true reenactment of a service of the early 1700's, but we will take some liberties such as keeping the heat and lights on, and my sermon may not be as lengthy as one at that time."

Additional services scheduled throughout 2014 will feature the 1790, 1892 and 1928 versions of the Book of Common Prayer.

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