Thursday, February 11, 2021
Dear Ones,

As we barrel toward the beginning of Lent next week, I offer to you a little lesson on the liturgical calendar by way of a reconfigured and expanded excerpt from The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Volume 2: “The Circle of the Church Year”:

Our Christian liturgical year has three great times: Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.

People can walk right through these mysteries each year and not even know they are there. We need time to get ready to come close to these mysteries so that these mysteries might begin to open up for us.

The time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Christmas is called Advent.
It is four weeks long. The Church year begins with the beginning of Advent.

The color for getting ready for Christmas is blue, which is one of the colors of the Mother Mary. Without the Mother Mary, there would be no baby Jesus!
The time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Easter is called Lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts six weeks.

Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent and Good Friday at the end of Lent are the only two fast days in the Episcopal liturgical calendar. Christians often observe these days by refraining from food and only drinking water until the sun goes down.

The color for getting ready for Easter is purple. Purple is a serious color: the color of kings. And something is going to happen to Jesus, the King. But Jesus was not the kind of king that people thought was coming. He was a different kind of king.

You will notice that the time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Easter is longer than the time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Christmas. This is because Easter is an even greater mystery than Christmas.

Easter is so great that it keeps on going—it does not keep to one Sunday! Easter overflows and goes on for six more Sundays. It makes a whole season! The color of Easter is white, which is the color of pure joy.

The season of Easter—Eastertide—is also a time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Pentecost.
During that time people met Jesus in a new way. He had died on the cross, and that was very sad. But they kept meeting him. Somehow Jesus was still with them as he is still with us today.

Then something wonderful happened. The Apostles went outside of Jerusalem with Jesus in this new way. There they saw him go up.

A few days later, the Holy Spirit came down, and the Church was born. The Apostles glowed with the power of the Holy Spirit: their tongues were like fire when they spoke. They were more alive than they had ever been before that moment. That is why the color of Pentecost is red like fire.

In between these three great times and the times of getting ready are a whole lot of green, growing Sundays . . . which are not so ordinary if you are paying attention!

I am so excited for our first Easter cycle together—and I’m so looking forward to our Listening in Lent programming!

Blessings and gratitude,
Mtr Regan+
Christ Episcopal Church
1114 Ninth Street, Coronado, CA 92118