This cool weather certainly is a switch from last week!
Congratulations to St. James, Goulais River, who yesterday celebrated their 125th year (+2) since their consecration. The rest of us will be observing James’ Holy Day today. I am very glad that the rain held off until after your outdoor worship service! Below is a photo of Archbishop Anne, presider and preacher at this celebration. (By the way, you’ll notice that this Holy Day is red rather than the green of Ordinary Time).
For Your Information: In this week’s calendar observances, we have Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary. Anne is not in our New Testament but her story is found in what we call “apocryphal” writings. Anne’s story is considered to be part of a mythical account of Mary’s childhood and so I have included – below the devotional material for this week – the note on legends found in For All the Saints.
If the story is mythical, why do we commemorate Anne on our calendar? As you will read in the link to For All the Saints, “By her legend she takes her place as a symbol of all childless but faithful women who, after years of prayerful longing, have at last been able to conceive and bear a child — and who have given thanks to God by seeking to protect their child as a truly sacred gift.”For Your Devotions:
Monday, July 25th is the Holy Day of St. James the Apostle. James, his brother John (the sons of Zebedee), and Peter were the three disciples in Jesus’ inner circle. They witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration and went off alone with him in the Garden of Gethsemane. James is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament (Acts 12:2) – he was beheaded at the order of King Herod in 44 AD. For more information: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-James-son-of-Zebedee
Tuesday, July 26th is the commemoration of Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although she is not mentioned in the canonical gospels, Anne is mentioned as Mary’s mother in some of the apocrypha (such as the Gospel of James) and in the Qur’an. There are numerous fascinating stories about this woman including that Mary was born from a virgin birth just as Jesus was. For more information see p.224 here: https://www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/ForAlltheSaints.pdf
Friday, July 29th is the commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, died 1833. William was a wealthy young politician who did not begin his advocacy for moral reformation in England until he experienced a personal transformation as a Christian. He came to the realization that being a Christian actually meant living differently and so he became more than a “name only” Christian and actively lived his Christian faith. Among other activities, William began a 40 year campaign for emancipation of all slaves in the entire British Empire. This didn’t go over well with rich landowners who relied on slave labour…to read more, check out page 226: https://www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/ForAlltheSaints.pdf
A Note concerning Legendary Material: “Every effort has been made to ensure the historical accuracy of the notices. However, certain Memorials and Commemorations involve the recounting of legends in order to explain their observance by the Church. No endorsement of the historical veracity of these legends is thereby implied or intended” (p.22 of For All the Saints). Whether or not these stories are true, they do point to important characteristics of the people involved. For example, the story involving Anne tells of the holiness of Mary’s life even from before her birth.
In the hope of the risen Christ,