BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christian Year -Part II


Lent is the season following Epiphany and is more 'known' than Epiphany to most people. Many people think of Lent as a time to give-up something (meat, chocolate, soda drinks, smoking, etc.). But the season of LENT (liturgical color is purple) goes much deeper than 'just' giving up something.


You may have heard of Ash Wednesday (and Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday) if you've ever been to New Orleans and gone to Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) is the last day in Epiphany and is celebrated by eating fattening foods in anticipation of the 'fasting' days of Lent. In some churches, pancakes are served on Shrove Tuesday!!!! The word, Shrove, refers to the ancient practice of being 'shriven' (confessing and receiving absolution) in order to begin and keep a holy Lent. Shrove (or Fat) Tuesday this coming year is on Feb. 16.


Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) begins the next season of LENT. The Lenten season includes 40 weekdays and five Sundays before Holy Week and the culminating triumph of the Resurrection at Easter (April 4 this coming year). Lent has two major focuses. One is Baptism, which in the early church occurred only at Easter. The second focus and the most familiar to us is that of fasting and renunciation. The theme recalls Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness, and through them the discipline of self-denial reflecting the sacrifice of our will to the purpose of God.


Then comes Holy Week--when the events of our Lord's passion and death are specifically commemorated in preparation for the glorious celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Holy Week begins with the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday (March 28). A special liturgy begins with a procession of the congregation and the blessing of the palms, commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The Gospel reading is the complete story of the Passion. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Holy Week, services with special collects and lessons deal with the themes of suffering and coming glory. Thursday in Holy Week is called Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday). Services are held to commemorate the Last Supper. The service ends in complete silence with the stripping of the altar, in recognition of the despair and death to come.


Friday is Good Friday and commemorates the Crucifixion. The cross over the altar is draped in black. Holy Saturday was once a day of fasting in preparation for the Great Vigil of Easter. Today services are held which can include a reading of the Passion and an anthem from the Burial of the Dead.


The Great Vigil begins at darkness on the night before Easter, or very early on Easter morning as a Sunrise Service. Services are held with the lighting of candles and scripture readings... Once the sun arises, bells are rung and glorious Easter begins. EASTERTIDE (color white-although some churches go back to green after Easter Sunday) is MORE than just Easter Sunday. It is the defining event of Christianity. (NOTE: In my opinion, in order to really get the true meaning of Easter, one MUST experience Holy Week also. )


EASTERTIDE is always 49 days. On the Thursday in the 6th week of Eastertide, we have Ascension Day--when Jesus was lifted up into heaven. On that 50th day, we begin another season, PENTECOST (color red on the Day of Pentecost and green for the remaining Sundays after Pentecost). Note: Color red symbolizes tongues of flame and the Holy Spirit, and the color green symbolizes the growth and life of the church.


The day of Pentecost is a day of Christian celebration observed on the 7th Sunday after Easter. On Pentecost we remember an event that occurred to the disciples 50 days after the Passover during which Jesus was crucified and 10 days after they watched Jesus literally ascend into the clouds.


At Pentecost the Resurrection of the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and the people. To the Christian, Pentecost also marks the end of one church season and the beginning of the next. Christians consider the Day of Pentecost the birthday of the church because, from that moment on, the disciples carried the message of Christ everywhere they went all over the world. At our church, everyone is asked to wear red to symbolize the tongues of flame and the Holy Spirit.


The Season after Pentecost, in which Christians develop their relationship with the risen Christ, lasts from the Day of Pentecost to the beginning of Advent. This season contains some special days (such as Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday following the Day of Pentecost; All-Saints Sunday which is the 1st Sunday in November; and Christ the King Sunday which is the Sunday before Advent). These special days can be celebrated by wearing the liturgical color white (or red on All-Saints Day). This long season has several names (Sundays after Pentecost, Sundays after Trinity, Ordinary times).


This puts us back to Advent--and we start over!!!! Hope you enjoyed these blogs about the Christian Year. I love sharing the information. If I have bored some of you, I truly apologize. All of my years in church work have given me knowledge that I may not have had otherwise. I think that learning all of this is SO interesting.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++
On Black Friday, instead of being in crowds and shopping (probably the least favorite thing I would choose to do-- EVER), George and I spent the entire day near Erwin, TN ----hiking and searching for new waterfalls. Pictured below is a combination picture of ALL of the Falls on Millstone Creek, the first set of waterfalls we saw that day.



Have a great Tuesday.. We've been busy decorating the house inside and out for Christmas. It's amazing how fast Thanksgiving is OVER and Advent and Christmas begin.


Hugs,

36 comments:

Pam said...

Again, this is wonderful. I always focus on each season, never looking at the big picture.

T said...

You're better than the Nuns!

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

I'm fixing to start my decorating and putting the tree up as well. I mostly do it for the grandkids now. I have this huge Santa Claus in my shop, that if it doesn't sell by the week before Christmas, I'm going to bring him home and place by the tree LOL...the kids love him...he's the one that my granddaughter was standing by in that picture that I posted on my site once. Merry Christmas, Betsy and George!

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Betsy, this is so far from boring, I am always thirsty for things that I didn't quite understand and you explained this beautifully...thank you

Beth said...

I've enjoyed very much reading about the Christian year, Betsy. Although my daddy was a preacher, I wasn't familiar with this tradition, and you described it beautifully. Thanks for another enlightening post.

A lovely waterfall picture, too---thank you!

Susie said...

Another interesting post Betsy!

I can't believe today is 12/1. Oh my goodness I feel like I am so far behind already.

Dorothy said...

Thanks again for posting this and explaining each one!! Happy Tuesday!

Small City Scenes said...

Super info Betsy. Going to a church school all my life, well this just jogs my memory. thanks. MB

Sandra said...

yet another great post. i am putting up my itty bitty 2 foot tree today and sitting out a few things that will probalbly end up on my blog by the end of the month. keep snapping and bloggin

Arkansas Patti said...

Didn't I remember that a post about you teaching Sunday School? Can see where you would have been a success.
Thanks for the memory jogs.
Hope you will show your decorations.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love reading this and learning all of this from you...if I have any questions, now I know WHO to ask: YOU!!!
Love the waterfall...as usual it is gorgeous.
We have our tree(s) up inside...not sure if I will do the outside this year. ;0

Darla said...

You are teaching all of us something Betsy. Thanks! I bet the falls were not crowded on Black Friday, LOL.

Mary said...

I agree about experiencing Holy Week before Easter. You probably wouldn't like my way of doing it, but I always listen to the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" which is actually "holy week" music. It chronicles the craziness and tension of that week when nobody yet understands what is going to happen. The disciples were as much in the dark as anyone else at that point. I also enjoy experiencing each day of Advent with something special. There is a book called "The Advent Book" that is really great....you open a door each night on part of the story. I wrote devotions based on it that I post each year in my Journey blog. It's a great book for families during Advent.

Jen said...

Betsy
Two great posts! Hallelujah!
There is a living God!

JOE TODD said...

A Waterfall a day will keep the doctor away. Also, did you know a backsliding Lutheran is called a Luteran? Or maybe I can't spell LOL

mothernaturesgarden said...

I see you have also decorated your blog. I love the title photo, Betsy.
Donna

Deborah Godin said...

I'd choose a waterfall over a mall any day!!

Lola said...

Thanks for the lesson Betsy. I'm always eager to learn more.
Those are some gorgeous falls. I know you all had more fun doing that than being crushed at the mall.

Cheryl said...

I enjoyed your two posts about Lenten. You explained all very nicely. Its great to learn more and I certainly had a great lesson from you. And the waterfall was beautiful, that certainly was the place to be on Black Friday!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I'm used to breaking the Christian year into parts because of church...I like the fact that visually, I can see the whole big picture.

Wonderful post Betsy!

Who Dat!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Beautiful waterfall.

I like graphs and charts. They put things in perspective. Maybe most of us are just visual thinkers.
Marnie

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I was raised a Catholic, Betsy so I am very familar with the liturgical calendar :-) It is always good to remember and honor the special seasons. I love the advent wreath in your header!

Janie said...

Great summary of the Christian year!
I love the waterfall. Absolutely gorgeous.
Funny that George and I both posted on "trash" today!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Thanks for all this information.I hope we get to see your house all decorated.I bet it's pretty.
Blessings,Ruth

bettyl said...

Thanks so much for all the info! It's very useful and interesting.

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Oh that waterfall is gorgeous...much prettier than a mall!! I'm doing an Advent wreath this year...the first one in many years (since Jessica left home). It's a great reminder.

xx-cassie (using my dogs blog 2day)

Denise said...

Super post Betsy, and I'm with you, would much rather be at that waterfall than the mall.

Pam said...

You are a wonderful teacher, Betsy. I enjoyed the flowing waterfall, its a beautiful scene.

Daisy said...

Thank you for sharing that with us, Betsy. Loved the waterfall too. I would rather see nature than go shopping in the crowds too! :)

Rosa said...

I love this post!!! I can't wait to see your decorations. I haven't started yet. Don't know if I'm doing much this year. xo

FIONA said...

What a great Black Friday for you. We spent it with friends, enjoying leftovers, then my youngest s on had a sleep-over birthday party.

I love advent. We put up all of our decorations, except the tree, on Sunday.

We are having a tree-trimming and cookie decorating party this Sunday.


I can't wait to see pictures of you"decked halls."

mountain.mama said...

You definitely had a much better Black Friday hiking and admiring waterfalls than you would have had shopping. My spirit is fed in nature too.

diane said...

Another beautiful waterfall.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Well done, Betsy! Your description of the church year is precise and meaningful. Thanks.

Love, love, love, that waterfall!

I didn't "do" Black Friday, either, but my day was not as interesting as yours.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Anywhere but a shopping centre is the place to be on Black Friday, ;-)

SquirrelQueen said...

Never boring, I love to learn new things and much of this is new to me.

I would always pick a waterfall and hiking over Black Friday shopping. That is a gorgeous falls.