Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No. . . Feasts. . . Til Brooklyn!

I enjoy Saints' days. I do. I like the change of pace, the readings that we only get on Sunday every 5-10 years or so. And there can be some debate as to which feast days will be observed on Sunday morning and the like. My opinion - if it is better in my estimation as the Pastor of said congregation to examine the themes of the Saint's Day - we'll do that. If it is better to stick with the standard pericope, we'll do that.

One of the things this has meant is that in Advent and Lent I've held off of observing Saint's days - because those seasons have such a wonderful progression to them - and the progression is about the movement of Christ into this world and then towards the Cross. The seasons are designed to prepare us for Christmas and Easter - so I don't mess with the preparation.

This month, the 18th we have Peter's Confession and he 25th we have Paul's conversion. I was planning out the month, considering whether or not to do these or to do the standard Epiphany texts. . . which made me think about the season of Epiphany. Epiphany too has that same progression. . . it is about the actions that Christ takes that demonstrate He is the right and appropriate one to challenge Satan (starting obviously in Lent with the temptation and culminating on Good Friday). Even though it is a season of variable length, it is a season that shows what Christ does.

So - no Pete, no Paul. We'll do Epiphany.

So, what does this mean? I think I have figured out how I wish to approach feast days in general. There are the seasons of the year which are specifically about Christ's life and actions (you know, the first half). In these - the general rule will be to say no to the feasts (with the exception of the 3 after Christmas). After we get into the Easter Season - then lean towards the Saint's Day.

Why? Once you get past Easter 2 (with the exception of the Ascension, which I transfer), the lessons tend less to be about the actions of Christ and focus more on the teaching of Christ. Therefore, a saint's day can be observed in the second half of the year without interrupting the narrative flow of Christ's action - it is teaching one lesson instead of another - if I as pastor believe the other less is more appropriate.



Christopher D. Hall said...

There is a certain rhythm to what you propose. I would suggest that you do not ignore the Feasts of the Confession and Conversion, however, and incorporate the Collects, as Fr. Fenton suggested somewhere else once. I still am not sure it is inappropriate to include the other propers from the Feast (Gradual and Verse) in a Commemoration after the prayers or the final benediction.

As far as the Summer program goes, there is precedent to celebrating every (or almost every) Sunday as a privileged feast, no matter what (except for the Feasts in Christmas, apparently). But since we have no tradition, do what seems right in your own eyes ;)

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Rather than saying that we have no tradition, it might be slightly more accurate to think of it as being that we have a very large yard to play in - so that you may play over here or over there. . . just be in the yard. We don't worry so much about making sure we are playing the exact same thing at the same time. . . just be in the yard.

Anonymous said...

I celebrate every Sunday of the pericope and only observe saints days throughout the week. As I have daily service at 9:15 am I celebrated the Feast Days with the Lord's Sunday instead of using the the new Daily Treasury of Prayers.

The Roman C's and early Lutherans were right along with the Apostles and daily prayers