This Week’s Happenings in Algoma

Good day and  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 2nd is the White Elephant at Holy Trinity, SSM (352 Northern Ave.); 10am – 12:30pm.  If you’re not having this event, please let us know. Thanks. 🙂

Saturday, January 4th is the monthly men’s breakfast (but women are welcome of course!) at Holy Trinity, SSM (352 Northern Ave.) beginning at 8:30am.

Here are a few liturgical notes about the season that you might be interested in knowing.  Traditionally, we have 12 days of Christmas (hence the song with that name) that began on Christmas and carried through until the eve of the Epiphany on Jan.5.  In more recent decades, the Church marks out the Christmas season slightly differently. We are currently in what is called the octave of Christmas.  This is the Church’s way of saying this feast is a big deal and we carry on the intensity of the celebration for eight full days until Jan.1st (The Holy Day of The Naming of Jesus).  The Christmas season itself goes on until the eve of the Holy Day of The Baptism of the Lord. In this way, the Epiphany is included as part of Christmas because it is an important part of the Christmas story. This also highlights the Baptism of the Lord as a climatic observance in the portion of the Church year from the First Sunday of Advent until the beginning of Lent. By the way, it is after the last liturgy of the Baptism of the Lord when the creche is removed from the church.

For Your Devotions:

Tuesday, December 31st is the commemoration of John West, missionary in Red River; died 1845. John West was a chaplain for the Hudson Bay Company and was the first Anglican priest in Western Canada. He founded a school as well as a small church that eventually became the Cathedral of St. John in Winnipeg. In addition to his work for the Church, John West is known for the Indigenous artifacts that he was given and collected during his time in Red River. After being passed down through his family, these precious artifacts are now in the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature. Of particular note is that one of West’s converts – Henry Budd – became the first Indigenous Canadian to be ordained as an Anglican priest. For more information:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_West_(missionary)

Wednesday, January 1st is the Holy Day of The Naming of Jesus. This Holy Day comes eight days after Jesus’ birth (when he would have been circumcised) and, if it falls on a Sunday, it takes precedence over the usual Sunday liturgy since this is a day that has a pre-eminent role in the Paschal Mystery. It is not, however, moved to a Sunday. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Yeshua (to deliver/to rescue).  As our Deliverer, we have many (about 200!) names/titles for Jesus. If you’d like to check some of them out, go here: https://www.gotquestions.org/names-Jesus-Christ.html

Thursday, January 2nd is the memorial of Basil the Great (379 AD) and Gregory of Nazianzus (389 AD), Bishops and two of the famous Cappadocian Fathers.  Basil and Gregory were best friends in the 4th century and were extremely important figures in defending the orthodox faith against various heresies, especially Arianism (the belief that Jesus was semi-divine, a lesser being created by God). Along with Athanasius, these men were also crucial in establishing the place of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity – that the Holy Spirit was, in fact, God.  Without the efforts of these men, it is quite possible that we would not hold our Trinitarian beliefs today. For more info: https://www.dominicanajournal.org/basil-gregory-and-the-holy-spirit/

Monday, January 6th is the Principal Feast of The Epiphany of the Lord. Most churches in our area will choose to celebrate this day on Sunday, January 5th this year since most churches will not have a liturgy on Monday. Epiphany is the day we commemorate the manifestation of Christ to the “wise men” (i.e. they saw a strange star in the night sky signifying the birth of the king of the Jews and were drawn to worship him).  Their learning about nature enabled them to respond to the divine revelation of Christ.  Paul talks about God being revealed in creation (Rom.1:20) and chastises gentiles who do not respond. The “wise men” show us that there is hope “For it means that no truth or wisdom in the created order is contrary to the revelation of God in Christ.”  To read more, go to p.42 of For All the Saints:  http://c2892002f453b41e8581-48246336d122ce2b0bccb7a98e224e96.r74.cf2.rackcdn.com/ForAlltheSaints.pdf

I Wish you a wonderful Christmas!

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