Fairmont United Methodist Church • Raleigh NC

a mission-oriented community

Special Services

Throughout the year we celebrate special times in the life of the Church.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Worship, 7:00-7:45 PM

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent and emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us to realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During our Ash Wednesday service, the pastor will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers. The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship. Historically, ashes signified purification and sorrow for sins. Today, the ash cross on the forehead is an outward sign of our sorrow and repentance for sins.

It is traditional to save the palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday service to burn to produce ashes for this service helping our worship year to move in a full cycle.

—Adapted from The United Methodist Book of Worship

Holy Thursday

Hear the story of Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples and experience Holy Communion in a unique and touching way.

Good Friday

We gather in the Sanctuary for our traditional Service of Tenebrae. The word “tenebrae” comes from the Latin meaning “darkness.” The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service that makes use of gradually diminishing light through the extinguishing of candles to symbolize the events of that week from the triumphant Palm Sunday entry through Jesus’ burial.

This increasing darkness symbolizes the approaching darkness of Jesus’ death and of hopelessness in the world without God. The service concludes in darkness with the final candle, the Christ candle, carried out of the sanctuary, symbolizing the death of Jesus. A loud noise will sound helping us to remember the torn curtain in the Temple or the earthquake at Jesus’ death or the closing of the tomb. We will then leave in silence to ponder the impact of Christ’s death and await the coming Resurrection.

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Thanksgiving

Community Thanksgiving Service Re-Imagined!

For years the neighboring congregations shared a Thanksgiving service on an evening prior to Thanksgiving, with a combined choir and rotating location and preachers among the congregations,

This year the Arab Learning Center and the Hillsborough Street Community of Churches (Fairmont United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Community United Church of Christ, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church & West Raleigh Presbyterian Church) invite you to the Community Thanksgiving Service re-imagined. This year the same Syrian women who brought you the Interfaith Intercultural Food Fair will be preparing dinner to be served in Pullen’s Fellowship Hall. There will be a brief liturgy of Thanksgiving with story-tellers from each congregation telling the story of how their family immigrated to the United States. West Raleigh’s story-teller will be Samia Touti, our Muslim sister from Morocco, whose friendship has been instrumental to our interfaith partnerships.
The event is free, but you do need to make reservations.

Advent

Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays. Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." The season proclaims the comings of the Christ--whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again. Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these comings.

—Adapted from The United Methodist Book of Worship

Fairmont decorates the church with a Chrismon tree, greenery, poinsettias, and an Advent wreath. The Advent wreath has four purple candles and a central white Christ candle. Each Sunday a candle is lit until Christmas Eve when the central Christ candle is also lit.

This year Fairmont begins Advent with a sung Holy Communion setting using familiar Christmas tunes. Join us on December 2 for an uplifting start to the season of Advent.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve enjoy Luminaries outside the church, Advent wreath, pine garlands, wreaths, and the Chrismon tree decorate the inside.
The service is at 5:00 pm – Service of Carols, Communion, Candlelight, special music (instrumental ensemble and choir).

Then at 6:15 pm is our Annual Dinner for the church community and homeless guests (from Helen Wright Center for Women, The Healing Transitions). Church members prepare a dinner for all.