The Kalendarby Fr. Karl

Wednesday, 31 December 2014 18:00

January 2015

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.
Sunday, 30 November 2014 18:00

December 2014

In Advent the emphasis is on the season rather than on feast days.  Nonetheless, the calendar remains filled with notable observances.  The feast of St. Andrew the Apostle is transferred to 1 December, from the prior Sunday.  Andrew is remembered as the first called of the disciples, and also as the first apostle, for it was Andrew who said to his brother, Simon, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1.41), and brought his brother to Jesus.  Andrew is patron saint of both Scotland and Russia.
The first week of the month also includes a notable missionary, St. Francis Xavier (d. 1552), Jesuit missionary to Japan, who established a Catholic presence in Nagasaki that survived persecution and war, only to be grievously wounded in the atomic bombing of 9 August 1945.  By God’s grace a Christian presence remains in Nagasaki, and from that base has extended throughout the land.
A notable theologian is remembered on 4 December.  St. John of Damascus (ca. 760)  John of Damascus summarized and systematized the faith of the Eastern Orthodox in a classic summary still used.  Another notable theologian, Clement of Alexandria (d. ca. 210) follows immediately on 5 December.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 19:00

November 2014

All Saints’ Day falls this year on a Saturday. We will observe the feast on that day, but also (as specified at BCP15) treat the next day as All Saints’ Sunday. The commemoration of All Saints originated in Ireland and spread from there to England. After the late 6th C. arrival in England of St. Augustine of Canterbury, the Celtic commemoration of All Saints was learned on the Continent, being observed eventually in Rome by the ninth century. In the East, from the third century a day commemorating all martyrs had been observed. All Saints’ Day is the only “Principal feast” on the Calendar that may be observed twice. It must be observed on its given date, but may also be observed on the following Sunday.
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 18:00

October 2014

Three apostles are celebrated in October: James of Jerusalem (the brother of our Lord) on the 23rd, and Simon and Jude on the 28th. St. Luke the Evange- list is remembered on the 18th. St. Luke is both the patron of physicians and painters. He himself was a physician (Col. 4.14), and tradition holds that he painted the first icon, of the Virgin Mary.
The month begins with feast of Remigius of Rheims. Remigius was the apostle to the Germanic Franks in the sixth century. The feast of St. Francis of Assisi is on 4 October, and we’ll celebrate a bless- ing of animals (Mass at 9 a.m., bless- ing at 9:30), in which we will be joined by members of Hope Reformed Church and our New Beginnings (middle school) participants from around the diocese. Francis reminds us of the fact that all of God’s Creation is to be honored. Oc- tober includes the commemoration of many martyrs. Ignatius of Antioch (d.115)  is commemorated on17 October. He is remembered for his letters writ- ten to churches as he journeyed to his execution in Rome. These letters are of such an authority that the early Church debated seriously whether they should be included in the Bible.
Sunday, 31 August 2014 18:00

September 2014

The Church calendar begins September with the feast David Pendleton Oakerhater, a Cheyenne warrior of an elite corps (dog soldiers) who became a Christian deacon, and the apostle to the Cheyenne. This feast of an indigenous missionary is followed by one of missionaries from one land in another, the Martyrs of New Guinea (2 September). On this date we commemorate the suffering and sacrifice of the Christian missionaries who stayed as prisoners in New Guinea during the Second World War.

3 September is the feast of Phoebe, Deacon of the church in Cenchreae (1st C.) Phoebe is commended by Paul to the church in Rome (Rom. 16.1-2). Was Phoebe as a deacon described functionally or in terms of office? The Greek word for “servant” is diakonos. Phoebe is not described by Paul as a “deaconess”. She is not described using a generic description for servant, but in terms of an office, “of the church in Cenchreae”. The fact that she is described as a “helper of many and even of me” connotes as well the role of patron and financial supporter. Regardless of how her ministry in Cenchreae is described, she was the bearer of Paul’s letter to the Romans, and was afforded a crucial role in the spread of the Gospel.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 18:00

August 2014

The month of August includes three major and a number of lesser feasts.

Feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August (to be celebrated with a Solemn Eucharist at 6 p.m.): Commemorating the time when Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John; when His glory was revealed and God the Father commanded, “This is my beloved Son...listen to him” (Mt. 17.1- 8; Mk. 9.2-8; Lk. 9.29-35). The figure of the transfigured Jesus is a foreshadowing of the risen and ascended Lord, of Jesus in His glory. Peter, James and John see Him as He really is, and not with His glory veiled. This reminds us that as we are created in the “image and likeness of God” (Gen 1.26-28), we too will rise one day in glory.

Transfiguration was not adopted on the Western calendar until the very eve of the Reformation, and so was not included in the Prayer Book calendar. In the 1892 revision to the American Book of Common Prayer this feast was included, and from this revision the observance has spread to all Anglican provinces.

Monday, 30 June 2014 18:00

July 2014

The first day in July for which the Church calendar prescribes an optional special observance is Independence Day. An observance of Independence Day in the Church was first proposed in the draft Prayer Book of 1786, but General Convention in 1789 voted this down, based in large part on the intervention of Bishop William White (Pennsylvania— his feast day is on the 17th), who argued such an observance to be inappropriate in a church in which the majority of clergy had been loyal to the British crown throughout the War of Independence. The Fourth of July was not included in the church calendar until the 1928 Prayer Book.

On 8 July the martyrs Aquila and Priscilla are remembered. This husband and wife team were coworkers with Paul, killed in the same Neronian persecution in which Paul died. Paul refers to Priscilla as Prisca (an affectionate diminutive) at Romans 16.3. Paul says Aquila and Priscilla “risked their necks for my life”; they endangered themselves in partnership with Paul. Elsewhere (at Acts 18, where Prisca is referred to as Priscilla) they are described as leaders of a house church. Paul meets them (recently expelled from “Italy”) in Corinth (Acts 18.2). They travel with Paul to Ephesus (vv. 18–19). There they meet Apollos and “take him aside to teach him the way of God more accurately” (v. 26).

Saturday, 31 May 2014 18:00

June 2014

Pentecost (Whitsunday) falls on 8 June this year. This is the 50th day following Easter, and marks the occasion when the Holy Spirit came upon all of the Church (Acts 2.1-13), which is considered to be the “birthday of the Church”.

The following Sunday (15 June) is Trinity Sunday, the only Sunday feast which commemorates a theological doctrine, that God is revealed as one God in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). On the Thursday following Trinity Sunday another “theological” feast is celebrated, this being Corpus Christi, in which we celebrate the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We give thanks that we “may abide in Him as He abides in us” in our Communion with the Lord.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 18:00

May 2014

The month begins with the feast of Sts. Philip and St. James, apostles (1 May). Philip is the disciple who baptizes the Ethiopian eunuch at Acts 8.26-39, fulfilling Jesus’ injunction at Acts 1.8 that the disciples will be His witnesses “... in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” James is “James the Less” (a son of Zebedee), to distinguish him from James, the Lord’s brother. This feast is followed immediately by those of St. Athanasius (d. 373, commemorated in a window on the east side of the sanctuary at Grace), the defender of orthodoxy at the First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), and of The Finding of the Holy Cross. This latter feast (3 May) commemorates that in A.D. 335 the Dowager Empress Helena (Constantine’s mother) led an excavation of holy sites in Jerusalem in which it was claimed that the cross upon which Jesus was crucified was found. Many modern scholars think that Helena’s excavations were quite accurate.

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