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.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Sunday, March 10, 2024

St. Patrick's Saltire, and Laetare Sunday - Rector's Rambling for March 10, 2024

     Today we are having our St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon in the Undercroft after the 10 AM Service.  This of course is a week before the actual Feast Day (March 17), so I will write more about him next week.  But note that on the ministry center flag pole we are flying the Saint Patrick's Saltire, which is the flag of the Anglican Church of Ireland. We flew the flag of Wales in honor of St. David’s feast day March 1st, and we plan on flying a the flag of St. George for his feast day on April 23rd.

Happy Lætáre Sunday!  This Sunday is also known as Rose Sunday (take a look at the vestments and hangings today to figure out this title), and in our mother Church of England it is known as Mothering Sunday (like our Mother’s day in May).

Still a Sunday in Lent, this Sunday is a mid-point when we “lighten up” a bit.  The deep penitential purple vestments are replaced with the lighter rose.  The Latin title gives us a hint as to this lightening up of the day.  Lætáre is the opening word of the liturgy in Latin, on which our liturgy is based.  The first word of the Introit, sung by the choir at the 10:00 AM service, is “REJOICE”.

Although a penitential season, on this Sunday we rejoice that we have passed the half-way point of Lent.  We rejoice because Passiontide (the last two weeks before Easter) and Holy Week are in sight.  We rejoice because Easter is just around the corner.  We rejoice because, to date, we have kept a good Lent, OR because we still have a chance to have a good Lent starting today.  But above all, we rejoice because we have a Saviour, Jesus Christ, who paid the price of our sins.  We rejoice that in Jesus Christ we have forgiveness of those sins and are reconciled unto the Father through His blood.

So if you haven’t started “keeping Lent” there is still time to give something up, and to take some things on like extra prayer at home or attending special services here at St. John’s.  And, of course, Fr. Kelly and Fr. Bedford