The Kalendarby Fr. Karl

 

January 2016

The month begins with the feast of the Holy of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. The feast is also known as the Feast of the Holy Circumcision. Falling eight days after Christmas, this would have been the day for Jesus to be circumcised under Jewish Law, but is a day used to commemorate that our Lord’s Name is holy. The name Jesus means “the Lord saves” in Hebrew, and in an ancient calculus a name connotes power; a name effects what it says, and for this we give thanks.

The Feast of the Epiphany is 6 January (this year a Thursday), when we celebrate the manifestation of Jesus to all the world. The lessons make it clear that God’s saving word is for all people, not just Israel, and so we as Gentiles may keep this feast with an especial thanks-giving. Epiphany is not a moveable feast. We will celebrate the feast as an “Eve of Epiphany” gathering, with a Solemn Mass at 6 p.m., followed by a light supper. This allows us to observe “Twelfth Night” as a parish feat as well as feast of Our Lord.

On the 18th and 25th, respectively, we commemorate the Confession of St. Peter (the first recognition by a disciple that Jesus is the Christ) and the Conversion of St. Paul (his conversion from persecutor of Christians to the apostle to the Gentiles). The week between these two dates is considered the Week of Christian Unity, in which we reaffirm that there is far more that connects us with other worshiping communities and traditions than separates us.

Other January feasts include that of St. Aelred of Rievaulx (patron saint of friendship, 12 January), the early and notable martyr, Pope St. Fabian (d. 250), and St. Agnes of Rome (patron saint of couples, 21 January). Fabian was named a bishop by acclamation after a dove landed on his head during an episcopal election. Fabian reigned for fourteen years, enjoying amicable relations with the imperial government until Decius became emperor. Fabian had not accommodated to imperial policy—he remained faithful throughout—but with Decius a “live and let live” attitude departed from the imperial throne, and when Fabian refused to burn incense to the emperor he and the believers in Rome were imprisoned and martyred. Fabian’s story serves to remind us that the world can always change is how the Church is treated, but that the faith remains the same.

St. Paul of Thebes (d. 345, feast 15 January) and St. Antony of Egypt (d. 356, 17 January feast superseded this year by a Sunday) are remembered as examples of the eremitical (hermit) life, of those who separate themselves from society for the sake of the Lord, but in Timothy and Titus (feast 26 January) we see the active life, of those who take God’s word to others. This active life was also exemplified in the martyr Vincent of Saragossa (d. 304, feast 22 January).

Finally, we wrap up the month with two of the leading theologians in the history of the Church, both East and West, St. John Chrysostom (27 January) and St. Thomas Aquinas (28 January). Chrysostom (which means “golden mouthed”) was a great orator and writer who defended Orthodoxy, and Aquinas was the leading exponent of the system of Scholastic theology which dominated western thinking for more than six centuries, and remains the fundamental training in Roman Catholic seminaries. The inclusion of Chrysostom and Aquinas on the calendar of The Book of Common Prayer is testament to the broad heritage of Anglicanism.

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Event Calendar

Live Stream - Solemn Mass
Sun Jun 25 @10:15AM - 11:30AM
Vestry Meeting
Sun Jun 25 @11:45AM -
Parish Breakfast
Tue Jun 27 @ 7:00AM - 08:00AM
Mass - St Peter and St Paul
Thu Jun 29 @ 9:00AM - 09:30PM
Bible Study
Thu Jun 29 @ 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Brat Fry @ Miesfeld's
Sat Jul 01 @12:00AM

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