Marking the Year
Since its earliest days, the Church has marked the year with different Festivals and Commemorations. Many are fixed to particular dates and others move according to the Sunday on which Easter falls. In all this we take on the traditions of the mother faith of Christianity, Judaism.
This year, February is marked by two such festivals at either end. The beautiful Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas) always falls on February 2nd (forty days after Christmas Day) – a lovely climax to the end of the Christmas and Epiphany seasons. I am old-fashioned enough (!) to desire that our beautiful church crib remains in view until then as a reminder of ‘Emmanuel – God with us.’ Ash Wednesday – the start of our forty-day Lenten journey – is observed on 26th February, governed by Easter which we will celebrate on 12th April.
Far from being ‘churchy’ or old-fashioned ways of engaging with our faith journeys, I believe that the marking of the year with such festivals and saints’ days offers each of us earthy and embedded yearly opportunities to contemplate and deepen many aspects of our faith in the knowledge of connection in knowing that we all are part of the Body of Christ. In doing so, we have continual encouragement to reveal the Light of Jesus Christ in all that we do.
Have a great 2020 – and mark it well!