Happy Easter! Today is the Seventh Monday of Easter. As we approach the Day of Pentecost, we also approach the end of the Easter season but, as our Zion Lutheran friends have reminded us, “We celebrate Easter every Sunday.”
We are in the midst of the global prayer initiative called Thy Kingdom Come. Christians of all denominations around the world are praying each day from Ascension to Pentecost that God’s kingdom will come on earth as in heaven. We pray for friends and loved ones and people we do not know that they may experience the stirring of the Holy Spirit within them and turn to God. You can check out the website to light up the world in prayer and get plenty of free resources: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/
Wednesday, June 1st is the diocesan annual ACW meeting. You can join the Zoom meeting starting at 9:15 am. Holy Trinity, SSM, is hosting an in-person gathering for the meeting in their church building so that we can see the happenings on the “big screen.”
A Liturgical Note For You: This coming Sunday is the Primary Feast of The Day of Pentecost (see below). The Paschal Alleluias that we have been saying during our liturgies throughout the Easter season can be doubled at the dismissal for the Pentecost liturgy. The Paschal Season comes to an end after the day’s final liturgy – whether it be Evening Prayer or Compline. This means that the Paschal candle is extinguished at the end of the day’s services and is not lit again except for baptisms and funerals. The Paschal candle is moved from the prominent position where it has been throughout the Paschal Season and is placed back in its customary place near the font. The liturgical colour for the Day of Pentecost is red since red is associated with the image of the Holy Spirit as fire. (There are other associations with the colour red which is why we wear red on other days of the church calendar as well).
Did you notice that The Day of Pentecost is a part of the Easter season? The Easter season ends after the final liturgy on the Day of Pentecost. This means that Pentecost is not a season of the church…Pentecost is part of the Easter Season. There is no “season of Pentecost.” When Pentecost is over, we enter into Ordinary Time and we count Sundays as Sundays after Pentecost – not in Pentecost and not of Pentecost. Liturgically and theologically speaking, if there were a season of Pentecost, we would be wearing red the whole time. But we are not wearing red, we are wearing green because it is Ordinary Time in the season after Pentecost.
Wow…there is something on the calendar every day this week…
For Your Devotions:
Monday, May 30th is the commemoration of Roberta Elizabeth Tilton, the founder of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Canadian Church. Roberta Elizabeth was born into a world where women did not have the right to vote and, in fact, were not legally considered persons. They were not even allowed to have a bank account. I am thankful for women like her! She was a champion not only for women but also worked endlessly against all ills in society… https://www.acwcanada.com/our-history.html
Tuesday, May 31st is the Holy Day of The Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth. This is the moment when, even before his birth, John the Baptist witnesses to Jesus Christ. This story is only found in the Gospel of Luke and Luke uses it to bring together the old and new…the covenant made by God with Abraham and Moses is about to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This is what John the Baptist will be born to proclaim. See p.180 for more… http://c2892002f453b41e8581-48246336d122ce2b0bccb7a98e224e96.r74.cf2.rackcdn.com/ForAlltheSaints.pdf
Wednesday, June 1st is the memorial of Justin, Martyr at Rome, Teacher, died about 167. Justin was a pagan who delved deeply into philosophy, particularly that of Plato. He had a mysterious encounter with an old man on a beach one day. This old man showed to Justin the contradictions of his philosophy and the truth of Christianity. Justin was baptized a Christian and sought to show the pagans the main points of contact between philosophy and Christianity (and then moved on to demonstrate how Christianity was the complete truth).He is one of the most important Christian teachers/writers of our Church. Justin made the mistake of publicly besting a well-known pagan philosopher in a debate. That philosopher then made a point of bringing Justin to the attention of the Roman authorities who killed not only him but several of his students as well. To read more… https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Justin-Martyr
Thursday, June 2nd is the commemoration of the Martyrs of Lyons: Blandina and her Companions, died 177. There were missionary centres in Lyons that had attracted Christians from Asia and Greece. The locals were suspicious of the Christians – they were “different.” At first, the Christians were excluded from using the public baths and the market place, they were verbally and physically attacked, and their homes were vandalized. It kind of sounds much like the dominant culture’s treatment of minority groups in their midst in much more recent history…Hmm…Blandina was a slave taken into custody. The authorities forced Christians to say they were cannibals who practiced incest. Many did repeat these lies to avoid being beaten and tortured with red hot irons. Blandina refused to say anything other than that she was a Christian and Christians do not practice anything vile. She was finally executed – mauled by animals -in the public arena. See p.184 of For All the Saints for more info: http://c2892002f453b41e8581-48246336d122ce2b0bccb7a98e224e96.r74.cf2.rackcdn.com/ForAlltheSaints.pdf
Friday, June 3rd is is the memorial of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, died 1977 and The Martyrs of Uganda, 1886. One of the most influential clergy in Africa, Archbishop Janani is remembered each year in Uganda (on Feb.16) with a public holiday during which schools, offices, and businesses are closed. He was an outspoken opponent of President Idi Amin and delivered a note protesting unexplained disappearances and deaths. This led to his arrest along with two cabinet ministers. The three men were placed on display at a presidential rally and then, allegedly, died in a car crash on their way back to prison. However, his family reports that, when they retrieved his body, he had been shot in the mouth and chest. Archbishop Janani was declared a martyr by Canterbury Cathedral/Church of England. To read more about his life… https://publicholidays.ug/archbishop-janani-luwum-day/
The Martyrs of Uganda: Over the span of about 15 months, Mwanga (ruler of Buganda – now Uganda) ordered the brutal murders of 45 Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Anglican and Roman Catholic missionaries and converts were bludgeoned and beheaded. A group of young pages working in the royal household were burned alive when Mwanga discovered they had been taught Christian doctrines. Soldiers, officials, judges… no one was safe. Christian persecution seems hard to fathom from where we comfortably sit but it’s actually on the rise around the world. North Korea tops the list of dangerous countries for Christians and “ethnic nationalism” is becoming a major driving force of persecution. If you’d like to read more: https://www.britannica.com/event/Martyrs-of-Uganda
Saturday, June 4th is the commemoration of Pope John XXIII, Bishop of Rome, Reformer, died 1963. Why do Anglicans commemorate a Roman Catholic Bishop?…In his openness to change, he convoked the Second Vatican Council which reformed the Roman Catholic Church and sent ripples of influence through all mainstream denominations. His life is fascinating… born poor, the oldest son of 13, sent off at age 11 to become a priest…He never used his position to benefit his family and bequeathed each living member of his family just $20 at his death – the sum total of his personal fortune. To read more about this: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-John-XXIII
Sunday, June 5th is the Primary Feast of “The Day of Pentecost.” This is the occasion when the disciples of Jesus were “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” We, too, have this amazing gift of the Holy Spirit, bringing us into relationship with God through Christ. Alexander Schmemann writes, “We pray in Christ and he, through his Holy Spirit, prays in us, who are gathered in his name…We can add nothing to his prayer, but according to his will, according to his love, we have become members of his body, we are one with him and have participation in his protection and intercession for the world…And that is why the prayer of the Church is a divine-human prayer, for the Church is Christ’s humanity, with him standing at its head: ‘I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me'” (Jn 17:23) [p.54 of The Eucharist by Alexander Schmemann].
In the joy of the risen Christ,