2018-09-27 Reflections from the Rector

Therefore Let Us Keep the Feast
by the Rev. Poulson Reed

For the last few years, on 4th Sundays at 11am we offered devotional additions to the liturgy from our rich Anglican tradition: incense, choral mass settings by the Chamber Choir, and more sung parts for the clergy and congregation (like the Lord’s Prayer and Prayers of the People). On those 4th Sundays, the Senior Choir sang at 9am. This year, we’ve changed the pattern a bit for several reasons, the most important of which is that our new choristers singing every other week at 9am makes the former practice impractical. Fortunately, there will still be opportunities to appreciate these beautiful practices of praise, and in a way that makes more liturgical sense.

This year, we will add incense, choral mass settings, and other sung parts at 11am on special feast days of the Church calendar, beginning this Sunday with the feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. Every Sunday is a feast day, a celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. But some days are particularly worthy of our best efforts, like All Saints’ Sunday(November 4) or Christ the King (November 25), and we will give these important feast days extra emphasis in this way.

This renewed attention to the feast days of the Church fits well with our new Evening Prayer ministry (Monday through Thursday). While the quiet, said prayers of the evening office might seem to have little in common with grand, choral Eucharists, both are part of All Saints’ doing our part faithfully to keep the lamp of prayer burning. The discipline of daily prayer that remembers even the more obscure saints combines with the weekly celebrating of the holy mysteries and the occasional days of greatest majesty. These daily, weekly, and seasonal patterns are one means by which God, through our prayers, hallows time.

It is helpful for Christians to remember that, underneath the varied changes and dramas of politics, cable news, and social media, there is a deep, ancient cycle of prayer and praise that follows an endless pattern. That cycle calls us back to God, in whom we are renewed for compassionate service to a broken world. Therefore, let us keep the feast.

Blessings,
Poulson+

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