FROM YOUR PRIEST
This month, we continue our journey through the festival season of the fifty days of the Easter season which began on Easter Day, the Sunday of the Resurrection and ends on the Day of Pentecost. The color of this season is white and all the liturgies are jubilant and inspiring. Several people have asked me about the disappearance of the Confession of Sin from the Sunday morning liturgy during Eastertide. We don’t leave it out because we do not need to make our confession, but rather we are simply balanc-ing the tremendously penitential liturgy of Lent with the celebratory worship of Easter. In Lent, we walked with Christ in the way of the Cross, considering our own sins while engaging in disciplines of fasting, prayer, and repentance. In Easter, we celebrate the Triumph of our Lord over death on the Cross, and we proclaim forgiveness, good news and salvation with feasting. During this time, worshippers are called to celebrate God's ongoing work in the world through his people, and to acknowledge and reflect upon their purpose, mission, and calling as God’s people.
We are about to observe two important celebrations. The first is Ascension Day (May 9), the day when Christ appeared to the disciples one last time and then ascended into heaven. Since our church is named in honor of this day, we will celebrate it on May 12th. The liturgical color for the day is white. The sec-ond is Pentecost Sunday, also known as “Whitsunday,” (May 19). This is the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, setting their hearts and minds on fire, and empowered them to proclaim the Good News of God’s love to the world as they spoke in different languages to all who were gath-ered among them. Three thousand converts were baptized that day and the newly baptized would have worn white robes, thus the name “Whitsunday” or white Sunday. However, the liturgical color for the day is red, recalling the tongues of fire and the blood of the martyrs. Pentecost Sunday is a day to celebrate hope, a hope evoked by the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is at work in the world through the lives of God’s people. I hope everyone will remember to wear something red.
Then, at the end of the month, we enter the season after Pentecost is the time of the church year in which we focus on Jesus’ teachings and the mission and ministry of the Church. It is also referred to as “Ordinary Time.” Rather than meaning “common” or “mundane”, the term comes from the word “ordinal,” which simply means numbered or counted. The weeks in ordinary time are numbered although several Sundays are named for the feast they commemorate, such as Trinity Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) and the Feast of Christ the King (the last Sunday after Pentecost). We also understand that through our “ordinary” lives is how we live out our Christian faith. Thanks to the hard work of Matt, Allen, and Stephen we have a new website where we can share all the wonderful things that we are accomplishing as a parish through the ordinariness of our lives. Check it out! ascensionmountsterling.org
Many thanks to all those who helped to make Lent, Holy Week, and Easter such a wonderful experience for so many. All was done to the Glory of God, but was much appreciated by all of God’s children here. As we continue in this blessed Eastertide and prepare for the glorious descent of the Holy Spirit on Pen-tecost, let us take some time now and then “to be still” and know that God is with us, guiding us in our ministry and mission.
In Christ's love, Cindy+
*** I will be attending CREDO from April 30 to May 7. We will have Morning Prayer on May 5.