Monday, November 15, 2010
end of the church year
This coming Sunday is the Last Sunday of the Church Year. The old has gone, the new has come. Soon we will start a new church year which begins with the first Sunday of Advent.
I was reminded again of the importance of the liturgical calendar on finding these "5 Reasons for Church Year Spirituality" from the Internet Monk....
1. It enables us to live in God's Story
2. It keeps the main thing the main thing
3. It recognizes one's calendar forms one's life
4. It links personal spirituality with worship, family, and community
5. It provides a basis for unity for all Christians everywhere
Here also are the colors of the Church year, and why they are used for different times. Just as Joseph had a coat of many colors, so does the Church celebrate our Lord's life as a coat of many colors too!
Blue is the color of the sky, our eternal hope. Thus it is especially associated with Advent, with Christ’s coming to bring us to our home in heaven. In the church’s art, the color blue is also closely associated with the Virgin Mary, and thus the tie in to Advent is also obvious.
Purple is the ancient color of royalty. It has become in the Church colors associated with our Lord’s Passion, and hence, with the season of Lent: Matthew 27; Mark 15.
Black is the color of darkness, of death, of ashes, of sorrow and grief. It is used on Days of Penitence and Prayer in the Church and can be used on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Esther 4:1; Daniel 9:3; Micah 3:6; Matthew 27:45.
White is upon the altar throughout the season of Easter and at Christmastime and on All Saints.
White symbolizes perfection, celebration, divinity, joy. Mark 9; John 20; Revelation 7.
Red, the color of blood (Revelation 6:7) and of fire, is used in the Church whenever she celebrates the days of martyrs (who shed their blood for Christ) or on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended in tongues as of fire and on “churchy” occasions: dedication of church or ordination. Red reminds us of the famous saying: "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."
Green is the most widely used color of the Church year, it’s “ordinary color” if you will. Green signfies growth and we stay green and fruitful as we live our lives by the streams of God’s Word and Sacraments: Psalm 1; Jeremiah 17; John 15; Rev. 22
Through her creative use of color, the Church seeks to raise our hearts and minds to the wonderful things that our God has done for us in Jesus Christ; to call us to repentance; to keep us mindful of the Word of God that keeps us in saving faith; to help us together proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light!