Submitted by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Bethel AME choirs are preparing for the annual gospel and jazz service on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in St. Mark’s sanctuary.
David Arnold and the Songbirds of Dalton will participate in the service with the entire Bethel AME and St. Mark’s choirs as well as the Mardi Gras band, said Camilla Springfield, St. Mark’s choirmaster.
Familiar Bible readings will be a part of the service as well as traditional hymns such as “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
The Rev. Pat Grace, rector of St. Mark’s, invites the community to wear your beads, enjoy and join in praising the Lord in jazz, spiritual and gospel songs led by singers and instrumentalists from both churches. The Rev. Erma Raymond is pastor of Bethel AME.
Following the service there will be a pancake supper in the parish hall sponsored by St. Mark’s youth. The cost is $5.
Wednesday, Feb. 13, Ash Wednesday, starts the season of Lent with services at St. Mark’s with imposition of ashes at 7:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. A nursery will be provided for Tuesday’s jazz service and the 7 p.m. Wednesday service.
While Mardi Gras may call to mind the raucous parties and “Geaux Saints” Super Bowl parades on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, its origins are actually sacred. Also known as Shrove Tuesday, it is the day before Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent, the period of preparation leading up to Easter. Historically during this time, penitents were welcomed back into the Christian community The three days before Ash Wednesday were collectively known as “Shrovetide” (derived from “shriving,” which means confessing and absolving), and Shrove Tuesday especially was a traditional day for confessions before Lent began.
Lent is a time of abstinence, so Mardi Gras is the last chance to indulge and St. Mark’s sees it as a chance to indulge liturgically, singing loudly and joyously and raising “Alleluias” in one last big celebration before we give them for up for Lent.
St. Mark’s is at 901 W. Emery St.