109 York Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Special Church Seasons

St. James provides opportunities to worship and celebrate some of the seasons that are best known in Church life.

The Church year begins with Advent in November. The first half of the year is dedicated to the life of Jesus and is the “festival half.” The “non-festival” half that follows focuses on Jesus’s preaching. While we follow the church calendar all year long, most of our special worship services lift up events in the first part of the year.


The first season in the Church calendar, Advent is observed as a period of watchful waiting for Christmas as a celebration of the arrival of the Christ child.

St. James practices lighting candles on the Advent wreath in midweek services through Advent.


Emboldened by the good news of Christ’s birth, along with the shepherds, Mary and Joseph, and all witnesses to the light of Christ, we declare to the world that we have indeed seen and been transformed by the arrival of “the salvation of our God.” O come, let us adore!

Christmas Eve on Stratton Street closes down the side street next to St. James so that families can gather and worship the birth of Jesus. Additional traditional services are held indoors through the evening. And the first Sunday of Christmas is observed with a service of Lessons and Carols. The Nave is filled with poinsettia arrangements sponsored by congregation members in honor of or memory of loved ones, to benefit Lutheran World Hunger Relief. You can order Christmas arrangements online.


On Ash Wednesday we begin our forty-day journey toward Easter with a day of fasting and repentance. Returning to our baptismal call, we more intentionally bear the fruits of mercy and justice in the world.

St. James provides imposition of ashes in daytime and evening Ash Wednesday services to start the season of Lent. And congregation members deliver thematic messages in midweek evening Lenten services.


This is the day the Lord has made! Christ is risen, and through him all creation is made new! Christ’s resurrection truly brings life to everyone. We depart with joy to proclaim the good news of God’s endless love.

This year, a special Easter egg hunt will be held in the church building between Sunday morning Easter services. All are welcome to participate (and the smaller children will be given a head start in their searching). The Nave is filled with spring floral arrangements sponsored by congregation members in honor of or memory of loved ones, to benefit Lutheran World Hunger Relief. You can order Easter arrangements online.

Non-festival Seasons

St. James follows customary use of colors and symbolism to emphasize different elements of all the seasons. Please don’t hesitate to ask a pastor, staff member, or long-time St. James member if you’re curious to know more!