Holy Week Schedule

We will begin our Holy Week on Sunday April 10 with Palm Sunday.  (Please note there will not be a Saturday Evening Liturgy we will celebrate Palm Sunday together).

On Wednesday at 6pm in the Upper Room (in person only) we will have a Spiritual Sound Bath with Gongs Cymbals and Chimes followed by Moment of Oneness on zoom as usual.  ***(See below for more on the Sound Bath)


Holy Thursday Liturgy 5:30 on zoom and in person.

Good Friday Service 5:30 on zoom and in person.

Holy Saturday and Easter Celebration 5:30 on zoom and in person.

There will not be an Easter Sunday morning liturgy.

***Re: Wednesday Sound Bath:

The Upper Room is kicking off the Holy Week Tridium on Wednesday night, April 13th at 6 pm with a special meditation, a Sound Bath. A sound bath is a relaxation technique and meditative experience whereby participants ‘bathe’ in the sound waves produced by instruments such as chimes, gongs, drums and singing bowls.
“Sound baths create the space and conditions for healing to occur on many levels. The sound stimulates our circulation and immune system, cleanses our energy meridians, and helps to release emotions stored in our body like anger, stress and trauma. Sound also balances both hemispheres of our brain, promoting deep relaxation.” Kaur.

Timothy Bell who has done sound baths for many years will grace us with his gongs and chimes from around the world. This will be a 45 minute meditation. Bring a yoga mat and blanket and pillow if you wish to lie down or you may prefer to sit in a chair. You can experience this however is most comfortable to you. It will be in person at the Upper Room location and cannot be recorded.

We hope you will join us and then it will be followed by our Moment of Oneness which will be both on zoom and in person.

Tim asked that the only compensation he wants is for us to contribute to feed the hungry. So, we will have collection for Capital Roots where Tim volunteered at one time. Capital Roots is doing a big campaign to build a big market in Troy for food deserts in the city.

Saturday Liturgy on Zoom beginning January 8 at 5:00 pm

Hello Dear Community,  We will be offering a second liturgy on Saturdays beginning January 8 at 5pm on Zoom. (Eastern Standard Time US and Canada)

If you are unable to celebrate on Sunday morning at 10am you are most welcome to celebrate with us on Saturday at 5pm. The Sunday liturgy will continue to be in person and on zoom.

The liturgies will follow the same format with different readings and shared homily on Saturday. The zoom link for both liturgies will be the same. We will post both liturgies prior to celebrating. 

To join either liturgy:
Meeting ID: 825 1215 9155
Phone Number: 646 558 8656

As always anyone interested in co-presiding, or reading please reach out and let us know.

Celebrate Saturday, Celebrate Sunday or both!  

Merry Christmas and Blessings for the New Year!


Thanksgiving Liturgy On Zoom 10 AM

You are invited to the Upper Room Thanksgiving Liturgy at 10 am on November 25, Thanksgiving Day.
This liturgy will be a zoom only liturgy.
Our theme is living with a thankful heart.
We will have a special poem read and written by Lynn K.
We will use the following reading from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians.

Philippians 4:4-8
Rejoice I the Savior always! I say it again: Rejoice! Let everyone see your forbearing spirit. Our savior is near. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds; instead present your needs to God through prayer and petition, giving thanks for all circumstances. Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally my sisters and brothers, your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is hones, pure, decent, admirable, virtuous or worthy of praise. 

Hope to see you tomorrow.
Love and Peace,
Kim and Donna


Here is the Zoom Video Link to join the Liturgy:
Meeting ID: 825 1215 9155
Phone Number: 646 558 8656

Seeking Justice for Immigrants

Upper Room Community members recently joined other demonstrators in marching to the Rensselaer County Jail to protest the inhumane treatment of female immigrants being held there under a contract with ICE (Immigration Control Enforcement)

  Click images to enlarge                           

See details here  (Albany Times Union October 16, 2021)

Liturgy Development and Co-Presiding for the Upper Room

How Are Liturgies Developed?

The progressive template for Upper Room liturgies was first developed  for home liturgies and later organized for our community. Several more liturgies were composed by candidates in their study toward priestly ordination.  Additional liturgies have been composed by several priests so that the Upper Room now has a rich trove of texts around a variety of themes for celebration of special seasons in the church year as well as ordinary time.

The liturgy format is a blend of our Catholic inheritance influenced by a progressive paradigm that honors inclusiveness, creation theology, social justice and the beliefs from our Statement of Faith. At times, presiders and co-presiders may rewrite opening or closing prayers or tweak parts of the liturgical prayer to hew to the theme of a particular Sunday more closely.

It is our practice to use one or more of the readings selected by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Doing so acknowledges that we pray in union with Catholics everywhere,  even as we look forward to a future church in which the divine spark of every believer is honored equally. Priests and deacons research outside sources and scholarly commentaries on scripture to understand Jewish culture and ancient Hebrew scripture as well as the first century context of Christian scripture. Continuing study makes it possible to discover inspired sources outside of scripture for liturgies. (see below)

The priests and deacons meet monthly to pray together, consider the thematic approach to special seasons and holidays, tweak the language in liturgies, teach each other about best practices and emergent progressive theology. These meetings are inclusive in nature, balancing a need for uniformity with a desire to honor and respect different approaches by everyone in the  group.

The Indispensable Role of Co-Presiders

If the Upper Room is to practice what we believe, then recognizing the role of lay presiders is crucial; we strive in liturgy celebration as in all our events to involve members as participants, not spectators. One of the drawbacks of the traditional church is treating an ordained vocation as superior to the vocation of lay people, forgetting  that we are all a priestly people. Our community rejects this kind of clericalism.

We rely on every  member to keep the Upper Room grounded in the divine inspiration and welcoming nature of the early church. Having a member of the community co-preside at Sunday liturgy is central to this vision of a non-hierarchical model. Drawing from our insightful membership helps the entire community arrive at the best decisions and richest celebrations.

The role of the lay co-presider in preparing for a liturgy celebration is flexible, depending on the comfort level of the co-presider; some may wish to read the eucharistic prayers but not feel ready to help in  choosing readings and music or coming up with a theme for the day; others might be willing to write an opening and/or closing prayer; and some lay presiders may be willing to author the homily starter after discussion with the ordained presider.

We respect the special talents of each ordained presider and each lay presider to arrive at what works best each week. Together, the two  (or more) presiders collaborate to ensure that the theme, prayers, music, readings and homily starter work together to create a worshipful experience steeped in a contemporary Catholic theology of blessing. Often, this partnership ends up reminding us of  that basic truth that two minds are always better than one.


Frequently Consulted Sources for Presiding:

 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Readings for the day.  www.usccb.org

The Inclusive Bible. The First Egalitarian Translation. Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.

Funk, Robert W. et al. The Five Gospels. The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. Macmillan, 1993.

Leach, Michael et al., editors. A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration. Readings for Every Day of the Year. Orbis

Books, 2010.

Merrill, Nan. Psalms for Praying. An Invitation to Wholeness. Continuum, 2006.

Additional writings by Henry Nouwen, John O’Donohue, Diarmuid O’Murchu, Richard Rohr, Joyce Rupp, John Shelby Spong and other contemporary scholars.