Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 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 160 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.

My Photo
Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Happy Church New Year - Rector's Rambling for November 28, 2021

     And now we start all over again!  Unlike the calendar year starting January 1st, the new church year is upon us starting today with the first Sunday in Advent.

As human beings here on earth we are confined to time and space.  With the earth’s rotation around the sun and around its own axis we have seasons and day.  Time keeps ticking forward, yet there is also a cyclical nature to time as well.  So too the Church acknowledges this by the keeping of a calendar that renews every year.

Advent is our beginning, where we look forward to the beginning of our Lord’s earthly life (preparing for Christmas) as well as the beginning of the end (Our Lord’s return at the end of time).  After this we will have Christmastide, Epiphanytide, pre-Lent (-gesima Sundays), Lent, Eastertide, Ascensiontide, and then back to the long green season of Trinity in time for summer. 

The church calendar pays homage to the northern hemisphere seasons, with birth of the Light of the World happening as the daylight just starts getting longer, acknowledges the hard anticipation and frustration of late winter with the –gesima and Lenten devotions, and the hope that comes with spring tied to the celebration of the Resurrection.  And the long green season of trinity occurs in summer and fall - a time of growth in the faith mirroring the time of growth for the crops in the field.

Although we usually keep New Year Resolutions for the secular calendar, why not have a few Church New Year Resolutions?  Making a re-commitment to regular prayer, reading of Scripture, and attending worship is always good idea!  And although the season of Advent does not have the heavy emphasis on sin and repentance, Advent is a penitential season.  This means it is a good time to make a thorough examination of your conscience and deeds, asking God for forgiveness and for the grace to amend our lives according to His most Holy Word.  The clergy are available to help you with this task through what is known as an auricular confession (private confession with a priest).

And of course, it is now 4 Sundays plus nearly a week until Christmas NOW is a good time to start inviting friends and neighbors to worship with us for the Holy Day.