Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Day Of Reckoning

The Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany dates from a time when calendars were not readily available. It was necessary to make know the date of Easter in advance, since many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on its date. The number of Sundays that follow Epiphany, the date of Ash Wednesday, and the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost are all computed in relation to Easter.

(Editorial Note: Easter Sunday, or rather the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord, is the first Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox. It is an attempt to have it as close to the Jewish feast of Passover as possible, in keeping with the Gospel narratives. The difference is the difference between the solar and lunar calendars.)

Although calendars now give the date of Easter and the other feasts in the liturgical year for many years in advance, the Epiphany proclamation still has value. It is a reminder of the centrality of the resurrection of the Lord in the liturgical year and the importance of the great mysteries of faith which are celebrated each year.

Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

Let us recall the year's culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial, and his rising, celebrated between the evening of N and the evening of N.

Each Easter--as on each Sunday--the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death.

From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on N. The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on N. Pentecost, the joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on N. And this year the First Sunday of Advent will be on N.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ in the feasts of the holy Mother of God, in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints, and in the commemoration of the faithfully departed.

To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come, Lord of time and history, be endless praise, fore ever and ever. Amen.

(N represents the date, e.g. the 7th. of January. Information found in the Sacramentary Supplement, via the magazine Magnificat.)

Originally posted 1/7/2007.

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