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First Communion service for Texas Episcopalians


On this Christmas Day in 1838, Caleb Smith Ives, an Episcopal priest, celebrated the Holy Eucharist in Matagorda, Texas. This is believed to be the first time it had been celebrated in Texas according to the Episcopal rite. Ives, a native of Vermont, arrived in Texas late in 1838 and established an Episcopal church at Matagorda. He held occasional services in Brazoria and organized St. John's parish at Victoria, but continued to hold the pastorate at Christ Church in Matagorda, where he and his wife operated Matagorda Academy, said to be one of the best academies in Texas. Christ Church was the first Episcopal parish in Texas and, at the time, the most southern and western in the Protestant Episcopal Church of America. Ives died in 1849.

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