Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 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 26, 2018

St. John the Baptist - Rector's Rambling for June 24, 2018


As you read this on Sunday morning I will be getting ready to travel home today from my family holiday.  I am grateful to Fr. Lancaster and Fr. Kerr, fellow priests of the Society of the Holy Cross, and dear friends, for “holding down the fort” while I am away.  But I am sure also, that as you read this, I will be anxious to get back home and get back to the vocation that I love so much – being your parish priest.
Today we have one of those special Sundays that can occur during Trinitytide.  Major Prayer Book Holy Days (once called Red Letter Days because they were printed in red on the old Prayer Book Calendars) can be commemorated on Sunday instead of the “_____ Sunday after Trinity” by which we measure time between Trinity Sunday and Advent.
These special liturgical commemorations, with their appointed Collect (prayer) and Lections (readings) give us a chance to expand our understanding of Christ and His Church by looking at those holy people, the saints, who followed Jesus and proclaimed Him as Lord in their own particular ways and ministries.  And it breaks up what can be the monotony of the long green season ahead of us.
Whether or not a Feast Day can be commemorated on a Sunday, or can be transferred to a Sunday, is explained near the front of the Prayer Book on pages l and li.  This is where you find the Tables and Rules for the Moveable and Immovable Feasts.  At first it can seem confusing, but actually it, like our prayer book worship, is well ordered and defined for us right in the book.  When Easter Day occurs will determine things like the –gesima Sundays, Lent, Rogation, Ascension, Whitsunday, and Trinity Sunday since they are measured from that greatest of Feasts (how Easter is determined is an entirely different story, based on the lunar calendar and a golden number—see page lii for that).
Other Holy Days are set on a particular date, and if it occurs on Sunday and doesn’t overlap a day that takes precedence, then it can be celebrated.  Of course, one can also consult calendars printed by the church.