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Worship in September

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For many, September marks the start of school. Many of our parishioners who work or study as professors, teachers, students, or administrators in schools, universities, and seminaries have returned to the classroom.


September 24 will mark the final “regular” singing Sunday for the St. Cecilia Choir, whose excellent singing under the direction of Charlie Sega and Chris Windle has been well received through the continuing green season in the Sundays after Pentecost. The Atonement Choir will return on Sunday, October 1.


Another important anniversary falls on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, September 29. It will mark the 55th year of consecration for our much beloved Bishop James Winchester Montgomery.  Fr Daniel’s diaconal ordination is September 28.


The season after Pentecost, according to the calendar of the church year (Book of Common Prayer, p. 32) began on the Monday following Pentecost, and continues through most of the summer and autumn. It may include as many as twenty-eight Sundays, depending on the date of Easter. This includes Trinity Sunday which is the First Sunday after Pentecost. The BCP provides proper collects and readings for the other Sundays of the season. These propers are numbered and designated for use on the Sundays which are closest to specific days in the monthly calendar, whether before or after.  


Prior to the 1979 BCP, Sundays in this long period of the church year were identified and counted in terms of the number of Sundays after Trinity Sunday instead of the number of Sundays after Pentecost. This period is also understood by some as "ordinary time," a period of the church year not dedicated to a particular season or observance, as in the Roman Rite adapted after Vatican II. For us, the first Sunday in September is the 13th Sunday after Pentecost. For our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, it marks the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.


The term "Ordinary Time," is used in the Roman Catholic Church to indicate the parts of the liturgical year that are not included in the major seasons of the church calendar. Ordinary time includes the Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and the Monday after Pentecost through the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. A vigil or other service anticipating the First Sunday of Advent on the Saturday before that Sunday would also be included in the season of Advent. Ordinary time can be understood in terms of the living out of Christian faith and the meaning of Christ's resurrection in ordinary life. The term "ordinary time" is not used in the Prayer Book, but the season after Pentecost can be considered ordinary time.


It may be referred to as the "green season," because green is the usual liturgical color for this period of the church year. The BCP provides numbered propers with collects and lectionary readings for the Sundays of the Season after Pentecost. The Epiphany season includes the Epiphany, the First Sunday after the Epiphany: the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Second Sunday through the Last Sunday after the Epiphany (BCP, p. 31). In view of the Epiphany themes that are presented throughout the Epiphany season, it should not be considered ordinary time. However, many parishes use green as the liturgical color for the Second Sunday through the Sunday prior to the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, and sometimes the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. Epiphany season and the season after Pentecost vary in length depending on the date of Easter (see BCP, pp. 884-885).


On September 3, including that Sunday, we’ll have another 12 Sundays “after Pentecost” before the Feast of Christ the King on November 26.