The Episcopal Church of St. Mary-in-the-Highlands, Cold Spring, once again offers “Open Baptism” at their 7 p.m. Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 19.
“I know this seems highly ‘unorthodox’ and perhaps even ‘gimmicky’ to some,” the Rector of St. Mary’s, Fr. Shane Scott-Hamblen, explained, “but St. Mary’s hopes to show that the church exists to include people — not to exclude them.”
On Holy Saturday night, the church will continue to welcome — with “no questions asked” — any un-baptized person who wants to be baptized.
Those interested are requested to call Fr. Shane (845-265-2539) or arrive at the church around 6:40 p.m.
St. Mary’s is reaching out to all those who have been denied baptism for whatever reason. They hope that parents or adults who forgot or “never quite got around to it,” as well as those who were formerly turned away, will take full advantage of this invitation — as many other families have in the last several years.
For Christians around the world, Holy Week is the most solemn time of the year enacting Christ’s last days before his Crucifixion and Resurrection. “I know this ‘invitation’ seems to be controversial for a few who believe we are offering “cheap grace,” admitted Fr. Shane, “but our understanding is that grace is never cheap — it is free.”
The Maundy Thursday Mass will be at 7 p.m. on April 17. (The candle-lit church will remain open until midnight for anyone who wants to pray in the Gethsemane Chapel.) The Ecumenical Good Friday Service will be April 18 at noon, with the village clergy carrying in a life-size cross. The Great Easter Vigil will be at 7 p.m. April 19.
Easter Morning Masses will be at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday School is during the 10:30 Mass and the Children’s Easter Egg Hunt will be held on the great lawn following the 10:30 Eucharist.
St. Mary-in-the-Highlands is located at the corner of Routes 9D and 301, Cold Spring. Call 845-265-2539 or visit stmaryscoldspring.org. Absolutely everyone is welcome.