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Church to hold Antietam commemoration service

August 26, 2012

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church was about 15 years old as a parish when the Battle of Antietam took place a scant five miles to the south. Troops rushed along the roads near the church, and after the battle, the wounded were brought to the church for sanctuary. 

The church was closed for two months after the battle, a short period of time when compared to most houses of worship in the area. Services resumed in December 1862, and the church is still in use for services on Sundays and Wednesdays. 

As part of the weekend commemoration involving events observing the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, St. Mark’s is offering a service of prayer and remembrance, using the evening prayer service from 1862, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the historic church. 

During the liturgy, prayers will be offered for the souls of the departed, both military and civilian, who lost their lives. The long heritage of this historic battle in our community will be remembered. Hymns from the era will be played on the historic 1925 Moller organ, and the Rev. Anne Weatherholt, rector of St. Mark’s, will wear a vestment that belonged to her great-grandfather, a chaplain in the Union Army who fought campaigns in Northern Virginia.

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A poem written by Weatherholt for the occasion will be shared in the liturgy.   

Following the service, there will be a tour of the church and (weather permitting) of the historic churchyard, including newly identified graves of slaves.

There is no charge for the service and tour, and the public, including re-enactors in period dress, is encouraged to attend.

St. Mark’s was founded in 1849 by the faculty and students of nearby St. James School, and continues to serve and support the community through worship, education and outreach. 

The church is at 18313 Lappans Road.

For more information, go to www.stmarkslappans.org.

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