Monday, November 8, 2010

Awkward End of the Church Year...

November is the final count down on one Church Year and the start of another one.  It brings up again the problem in knowing how to close down one year of grace.  LW chose to adjust the calendar so that we had three last Sundays in the Church Year -- each one moving us more and more into the final things, second coming, eschatology frame of mind.  The problem with that is we find the same themes in Advent and so we kind of glaze over at all the talk of judgment, accountability, return of Christ, etc...  Since most congregations substitute the pericopes for All Saints on the first Sunday in November, it kind of screwed it up anyway (unless it was one of those Novembers in which we had four Sundays after Pentecost).  In addition we have Thanksgiving in there and it still kind of plays with the mix in the wrong sort of way.  We  have a school break and vacation period there that often means the last Sunday in November (be it Christ the King or Sunday of the Fulfillment or the Last Sunday after Pentecost or even the First Sunday in Advent) tends to be a small Sunday (in terms of attendance).  That kind of takes the wind out of your sails.

I have tried a number of the pericopal options (one year, LW three year, LSB three year) and am still left a bit unsatisfied.  All in all I wish we had more options.  I do not blame those who tried.  They tried.  I wonder if it is not sort of like a mine field -- what with the pre-Christmas press and all.  Oh, well... Here we go again... limping out of one Church Year and sneaking into another. I just wish there was a bigger bang at the end of one and a bigger splash for the start of another.  Any of you feel the same???


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I am moving more and more to November as the giant "The End of the World is GOOD" month - almost all eschatology. Then with Advent the shift is how Christ Jesus comes to do battle - not as the world expects (Ad 1 - Triumphal Entry), indeed it shall strike terror in the world while we are to lift up our heads (Ad 2). In the face of this we rejoice - knowing that Christ comes to fulfill good promises for us (ad 3) which we receive with simple humility, pointing others to Him as well (Ad 4).

Or I end up using the end of the Church year to be a time to see the world as it is --> and then use Advent as a time to see the coming of Christ, and know why the world doesn't receive Him.

Anonymous said...

The traditional emphasis in Advent:
1st Sunday: RETURN of Christ on
Judgment Day
2nd Sunday: REPENTANCE as the proper
way to prepare for birth of Christ
3rd Sunday: REJOICE for your
salvation is here
4th Sunday: RECEPTION of Christ into
your heart as true meaning of Advent