Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Liturgical Calendar

I couple of days ago I posted the schedule for Holy Week from our local Episcopal Church, St. Paul's. Several people posted comments about the full week within the higher liturgical traditions. This whole flurry of liturgical activity was a surprise to me also until a few years ago and began to explore the riches of higher liturgical churches. Im no expert and maybe I am just a sucker for symbol and ritual, but the rhythms and cycles of the church calendar have quickly reshaped the way I think about my faith, witness and means of worship.

While there are many people my age climbing the proverbial liturgical ladder, there are many who are simply unaware of these liturgical traditions, and likely some who may reject them altogether because of their perception that these are Catholic things (Steve Harmon's recent article for CT is a good example). Though perhaps I underestimate folks, and a livelier Lenten liturgical tradition is thriving in low churches. I grew up in the Reformed Church in America (a mid ladder liturgical church) and can remember going to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Morning Services. Perhaps it was my age or perhaps my general inability to understand spiritual things, but I never came close to living in the narratives of this week.

Anyway, today I ran across a great little site: churchyear.net. It has very basic information on the various seasons and special days within the liturgical calendar. It mentions history and symbolism needed to live into the depths of the narrative as embodied in higher liturgical traditions. The section called All About Lent will be especially helpful for those who might be looking at going to some of these services.