Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rector's Rambling - February 14, 2010

Today we celebrate several overlapping “Feast” days, only the last of which is well known.
First, it is Quinquagesima Sunday, the Sunday next before Lent. Besides being fun to say, it signals to us that this is our last few days of FEASTING (especially on Shrove Tuesday) before we begin our Lenten FASTING on Ash Wednesday. Please be sure to attend either the 12:15 or 6pm services on Wednesday to begin Lent the right way by worshiping, receiving Communion, and being ‘smudged’ with ashes as a reminder of your mortality and need for penitence.
Secondly, it is the Feast of Ss. Cyril and Methodist. Who? They were 9th century monks, bishops, and missionary to the Slavic people. S. Cyril invented an alphabet for their language (the cyrillic alphabet) in order to teach about Jesus through the bible and the liturgy in Slavonic (still the official language of the liturgy of the eastern Church in that region). Both met resistance from both the political forces of the pagan lands, and those Church leaders who did not approve of liturgy in a “barbarous” tongue. The Roman Catholic seminary in Orchard Lake is named after these two saints.
Of course most people know that today is also St. Valentine’s Day. Athough “Saint” has mostly been dropped from the title by the secular forces who see it as a commercial opportunity, it is based on a Holy Day dedicated in memory of one of the saints. St. Valentine was a priest who was martyred in the 3rd century in Rome. His crime, legend says, was performing marriages for Christian couples and helping those who were being persecuted under the Emperor Claudius. Once imprisoned he inflamed the situation by trying to convert the emperor! He was beaten, stoned, and eventually beheaded. The majority of his relics now rest in the Church of St. Praxedes in Rome.
Be sure to read the enclosed Lenten Brochures “Lenten Disciplines and Devotions” and “Keeping an Holy Lent” in preparation for the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.