St. M’s Holiday Experience
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” – John 7:37
There are Holy Days and seven seasons in the Church Year that Saint Margaret’s observes. The following is a list of the seasons with their respective dates, colors, and descriptions. We threw Shrove Tuesday, Missa Gaia, and Saint Margaret’s Day in because we wouldn’t want you to miss an opportunity of prayer, fellowship, and celebration with us!
4th Sunday before December 25 through December 24
The term is a version of the from Medieval Latin adventus meaning “arrival, appearance.” Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year. It is a time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. It is meant to be a time of reflection and a time set aside to renew our connection to Christ. Practices associated with Advent include keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, erecting a Christmas tree or a Chrismon tree, lighting a Christingle, as well as other ways of preparing for Christmas, such as setting up Christmas decorations, a custom that is sometimes done liturgically through a hanging of the greens ceremony. The liturgical color is violet.
Christmas or Christ’s Mass
December 25 through January 5
Christmas is a festival celebrated on Dec. 25, commemorating the Incarnation of the Word of God in the birth of Jesus Christ. In the Book of Common Prayer, it is also called The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christmas season lasts twelve days, from Christmas Day until Jan. 5, the day before the Epiphany. The season includes Christmas Day, the First Sunday after Christmas Day, the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and may include the Second Sunday after Christmas Day. The liturgical color is white with festival brocade.
Epiphany is a season of four to nine weeks, from the Feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6) through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The length of the season varies according to the date of Easter. The gospel stories of this season describe various events that manifest the divinity of Jesus. The coming of the Magi is celebrated on the Epiphany. The Baptism of our Lord is observed on the Sunday after Epiphany. The Last Sunday after the Epiphany is always devoted to the Transfiguration. Jesus’ identity as the Son of God is dramatically revealed in the Transfiguration gospel, as well as the gospel of the baptism of Christ. We are called to respond to Christ in faith through the showings of his divinity recorded in the gospels of the Epiphany season. The liturgical color is green plaid.
Celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday
Shrove Tuesday (also called “Pancake Tuesday” or “Pancake Day”) is the final day before the 40-day period of Lent begins.
Its name comes from the Germanic-Old English word “shrive,” meaning absolve, and it is the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one gives up for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations.
40 Days prior to Easter
Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent, the six weeks of penitence before Easter.
As it is the first day of Lent, Christians begin Ash Wednesday by marking a Lenten calendar, praying a Lenten daily devotional, and abstaining from a luxury that participants will not partake of until Eastertide arrives.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.
Begins 40 days prior to Easter and ends midnight Holy Saturday
Lent is “a season of penitence and fasting” in preparation for the Paschal feast. The season known as Lent (from an Old English word meaning “spring,” the time of lengthening days) has a long history. The forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Today Lent has reacquired its significance as the final preparation of adult candidates for baptism. All Christians are invited “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” The liturgical color is purple (Flax as Saint Margaret’s)
7 days before Easter
From early times Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special devotion. As the pilgrim Egeria recorded in the late fourth century, Jerusalem contained many sacred places that were sites for devotion and liturgy. Numerous pilgrims to the holy city followed the path of Jesus in his last days. They formed processions, worshipped where Christ suffered and died, and venerated relics. From this beginning evolved the rites we observe today on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. These services provide a liturgical experience of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life, as well as the time and events leading up to his resurrection. The BCP provides special liturgies for each of these days. The liturgical colors vary by day.
Easter falls between March 22 and April 25, lasting 50 days
Easter Day is the annual feast of the resurrection, the pascha or Christian Passover, and the eighth day of cosmic creation. Faith in Jesus’ resurrection on the Sunday or third day following his crucifixion is at the heart of Christian belief. Easter sets the experience of springtime next to the ancient stories of deliverance and the proclamation of the risen Christ. In the west, Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the full moon on or after the vernal equinox. The liturgical color is white with festival brocade.
50 days after Easter
The term means “the fiftieth day.” It refers to a feast of seven weeks known as the Feast of Weeks. Pentecost is seen as the gift of the Spirit. The Pentecost event is the fulfillment of a promise which Jesus gave concerning the return of the Holy Spirit. The speaking in tongues, which was a major effect of having received the Spirit, is interpreted by some to symbolize the church’s worldwide preaching. The Day of Pentecost is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year in the Episcopal Church. The liturgical color is red.
Usually, the first week in October also known as The Feast of Saint Francis
The Feast of St Francis of Assisi is on October 4 each year. We try to adhere as closely to that day as possible. The feast commemorates the life of St Francis, who is the patron saint of animals and the environment. It is a popular day for pets to be “blessed”. This is when we at St. Margaret’s celebrate God’s gift of creation, particularly in our animal friends. Companion animals are invited to join their humans in church at the 10:00 a.m. service. We will offer a blessing to each pet as part of the service. Stuffed animals are also welcome as are photos of pets who would not find coming to church a blessed experience.
Saint Margaret’s Day
Occurs in November
Saint Margaret of Scotland is our Patron Saint. She was an English princess and a Scottish queen and was sometimes called “The Pearl of Scotland”.
With a considerable zeal for church and for Church people. She also encouraged the founding of schools, hospitals, and orphanages, and used her influence with King Malcome to help her improve the quality of life among the isolated Scottish clans. Margaret and her husband Malcome rebuilt the monastery of Iona and founded Dunfermline Abbey under the direction of Benedictine monks.
We celebrate her with festive music and a live bagpiper! We look forward to seeing you there! Kilts and family tartans encouraged! The liturgical color is green plaid.