Sunday, April 28, 2013

Seasons of the Year. . .

We have a neighbor who hangs out flags from a pole near her front door.  These flags fly the colors of the day or the season.  So, for example, the day after Thanksgiving our neighbor had a Santa Claus flag to accompany the Christmas wreath hanging on her front door.  By the time the New Year arrived, Santa was gone, replaced by a generic Winter scene.  Soon that gave way to Valentine's Day and a bright red heart.   Valentine sentiments were packed up and a shamrock for St. Patrick showed up.  Eventually that too disappeared, replaced by an Easter lily.  The Easter lily gave way to a Spring/Summer symbol and then a 4th of July image and later a generic Summer picture.  Finally that gave way to Halloween and Halloween gave way to Thanksgiving -- complete with Pilgrims.

You know what I am talking about.  You see them all over the place.  They mirror the seasonal displays in the big box discount stores or the seasonal food choices of the supermarket.  It is a generic seasonal year that may mirror religious holidays but does not follow them exclusively.  We see and hear this marking of time according to the major holidays and we think little of it.  The truth is that this seasonal year is a mirror of the kind of marking of time we know as the Church Year.  So, why does it seem so ordinary to put out the flags of the generic year and so extreme to follow the outline of the Church Year?

Honestly, I wish I knew why Christians found it so difficult to order their lives around the Church Year.  We seem intent upon following some calendar -- either one we borrow from the retail centers or one we invent to cover the holidays and special days in our families that are important to us.  So, why do I feel like the odd man out when we observe the Church Year?  Is it just me?  Or is it that the Church Year means something and the generic holiday year means little more than personal taste and desire?  I am not so sure...

But I have to wonder if merely observing the Church Year within our families just might help with the teaching of our faith to our children and the mirroring of our faith to the world....   I cannot help but believe that this is exactly the reason why the Lord ordained a year of holy days in the old covenant and why it is so important for us Christians to renew the sense of "holy time" that the Church Year imparts.  What a blessing it would be if we paid less attention to the merchandise displays of the stores or the made up symbols of the seasons and actually took it upon ourselves to order our lives and our time around the Church's Year of Grace!  What a blessing and what a witness to the world!

2 comments:

fatherd said...

I fully support your position here. I think that there has been a move away from an awareness of the Church Year by the RCC and any others who use the designation "Ordinary Time" for several, non-contiguous sections of time within the year. The "season" of Ordinary Time is a monstrosity thrust in to fill spaces previously neatly filled by such things as Pre-Lent, etc.

The Kalendar as it has existed for generations prior to VC II was just fine. It was one of those things that was not broken and should not have been fixed (destroyed). The modernizers laid waste to everything in sight, the Kalendar included.

Fr. D+

Anonymous said...

By 'ordinary' they mean 'ordinal' that the normal rules and laws that they've made up, apply. But I agree with you, I miss the -seasons- that I grew up with in the United Methodist Church, which of course came from the Church of England.