Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Praise of the Seasons

When Canada went metric my cousin bought his mother metric measuring spoons and cups (or whatever you would call metric cups). My aunt was amused by the gifts because she never used measurements, even when she baked. And if she did consult a recipe it would have been imperial measurements.

One of the enduring memories for me of the transition to metric was the TV ad campaign to help us understand how metric worked on a practical basis. Ten degrees and I would probably need a jacket but at twenty degrees I might not need a jacket.

The weather and the season affect our choice of clothing. We have winter clothes and summer clothes, and spring and fall clothes. The season can affect our mood. Some people love one season and hate another.

The Church has seasons too. The liturgical seasons affects how we dress and our mood. We dress the church (and the clergy) in different colours, not just for the beauty, but for the change in mood. Advent and Lent are intended to be sombre seasons, while Easter and Christmas are joyful times. Epiphany and Pentecost seasons are regular seasons, intended to build (and grow) our community and our faith.

I think that it is wise for us to not only be attentive to the liturgical seasons but to relish in them. We can allow them to affect us spiritually. The current arrangement of liturgical seasons evolved over time (over centuries) and is a proven technique of helping us in our spiritual journey. We are to let the scripture readings, the prayers, the sermons and the hymns inform and inspire our journey in faith.

If you remember Canada going metric then perhaps you’ll remember when it was common conversation, even among school children, to discuss what they’ll be giving up for Lent. The seasons of the Church year can and should affect everything about us, ultimately leading to a deeper relationship with our Creator.

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