St. Mary's offers a service of Holy Eucharist at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. We follow a traditional Episcopal liturgical style based on Rite 2 of the Book of Common Prayer, often supplemented with resources from the Scottish and New Zealand prayer books and elsewhere.
Music plays an important role. We sing at least three hymns, usually led by a small choir and accompanied by organ or piano. Anthems sometimes feature a regular soloist or visiting musicians.
A lay-led healing with laying on of hands and anointing with consecrated oil is offered during the Eucharist in the back of the church. We pray "for those in peril on the sea" by singing the first verse of the naval hymn each Sunday, a tradition that stretches back to the founding of the church.
When the local population surges in the summer, we add a spoken eucharistic service on Sundays. Most recently, that has been at 8:00 a.m. in July and August.
St. Mary's offers a lay-led service on Saturday mornings. Originated by women in the parish, this service has taken many forms over the years. Currently it provides “Strength for the Journey” and is held in-person during the busy season and online during the rest of the year.
Special services usually include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday and sometimes other feast days. Midweek and early morning weekday services have been offered in the past along with a variety of Christian education and formation programs. St. Mary's annually hosts a special memorial service commemorating the officers and crew of the USS S-4 submarine, who perished in an accident off our shores on December 17, 1927, currently held near Veterans Day.
Over the years St. Mary's has, as needed, offered church school or other children's programs but currently few children regularly attend. The outer Cape has seen an exodus of families with children, driven out by the high cost of living, and a decline in the number of local children.
The Altar Guild prepares the sanctuary for worship each Sunday. A lay Worship Committee helped shape liturgical practices and service traditions in the past but, like other committees, has not met or provided input in recent years.
For more information about St. Mary’s and the application process please contact:
The Church of St. Mary of the Harbor
Attn: Search Committee
517 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657