Dear Parishioners and Friends,
I really enjoy our Wednesday morning Eucharist in the chapel. Not only is it a time in the middle of the week to stop and focus on what we are all about—the worship of God in Jesus Christ—but it is also instructive. As the calendar dates shift from year to year, we encounter Saints, Apostles, Martyrs, and occasionally historical moments in the Church.
Today we commemorated The First Book of Common Prayer. This feast is of course unique to our branch of Christianity. It occurs, fittingly, on “a day in the week of Pentecost.” Several days are already taken with feasts, such as June 11 which is a fixed feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle and also my ordination anniversary. Days that are not otherwise taken are known as ferias, and minor observances such as today’s fit neatly into those open slots.
The feast of The First Book of Common Prayer is important in the octave of Pentecost because of what happened on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and our Lady, and all were given the gift of tongues. People from the entire known world were gathered in Jerusalem, and all heard of God’s deeds of power and grace in his own language. Fast forward to 1548, and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and others are hard at work putting the Church’s public worship into English for the first time ever. The Holy Spirit never rests.
Following the examples of the Apostles, our Lady, and Archbishop Cranmer, we must also, in our day, strive to make God’s deeds of power and love known—and understood—by all.
Blessings, Father Rick