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, June 12, 2012

Rector's Rambling - March 25, 2012 - Passion Sunday

As you may have noticed, the crosses on the altars and around the church are now veiled. Although most Episcopal churches follow the modern Roman Catholic form for veiling the crosses on all the Sundays of Lent, we keep to the old tradition of doing so from Passion Sunday onwards. Dr. Taylor Marshall, a former Episcopal priest writes on his blog Canterbury Tales, “In the old days, Passion Sunday (5th Sunday) “ramped up” the Lenten season. Passion Sunday (also called Judica Sunday from the opening Introit) is the traditional day for veiling the crucifixes and statues in the churches. The practice allegedly derives from Bavaria (though I’d love for someone more knowledgeable to shed light on the origin of this custom). The crosses and images remain veiled and add to the dramatic effect of the Paschal Vigil when they are unveiled for the glory and wonder of our Lord’s resurrection. The famous medieval triptychs that opened and closed were constructed for the purpose of closing them for this season.” March 25th, if it were not a Sunday, would also be the Feast of the Annunciation. Today marks 9 months until the celebration of the birth of Jesus, so this day the Church remembers the day that the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive and bear a son by the Holy Ghost. This can be found in St. Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 1, verses 26 to 38. Since Sundays in Lent take precedence over other Feast Days, we will move the commemoration to Tuesday, March 27 at the 12:15 Holy Communion Service.