ORDINARY TIME II
(SEASON AFTER PENTECOST)

MONDAY AFTER PENTECOST
to
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT



SUMMER ABUNDANCE


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RUSHBEARING


Historically, churches and other buildings had hard, cold dirt floors. To provide some warmth and comfort to parishioners in a time before pews were used, rushes (Acorus calamus), mixed with aromatic flowers & herbs, were strewn on the church floor. The flowers added both a fresh, wonderful scent, as well as some natural insect-repellent. This tradition was steadily formalized over time into an annual festival, when churchgoers would gather rushes to bring to church – it was a beautiful procession that invited all members of the church community to participate in caring for their worship space.

In our own modern lives, I like to think about what the fruits of this tradition can be – a reminder to lean into intentionality, into soulful participation and service, in our own local context…in our homes, our church family, our wider community, and our local ecology.

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St. JOHN’S TIDE
June 23-4


One of the oldest festivals commemorated by the Church, the celebration of John the Baptist is poetically situated at Midsummer, filled with the aroma of strawberries and the song of frogs at night. While most feast days mark the anniversary of a death, John’s is unique – like we do at Christmas, we ponder a nativity at this celebration.

John’s life was one of preparation for the arrival of Christ, and the Church calendar mirrors this beautifully by placing the nativities of John the Baptist and Jesus at the two solstices. After the Summer Solstice, when we remember John and the sun is at its zenith, the seasonal rhythm rotates – ever so slowly, the days get shorter and the nights get longer, until the longest night of the year at the Winter Solstice, with Christmas – the dawning return of light – on its heels. As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30) – a verse we’re invited to internalize with this dynamic balance of John’s summer feast and the glowing hope of wintry Christmas.

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Coming soon!

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ST. JAMES’ DAY
July 25


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LAMMAS
August 1


Lammas, or the “loaf mass”, historically celebrated and blessed first fruits – especially the wheat harvest, and the beautiful loaves made from the first harvest.

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DORMITION/ ASSUMPTION of St. MARY
August 15


The feast of the Dormition/Assumption of St. Mary, Mother of God – commemorating her death, and in some traditions, her assumption into heaven – has been formally celebrated by the Church since at least the 8th century, with folk stories surrounding Mary’s death being told in ancient apocryphal texts as early as the 3rd century.

Beautiful imagery in the stories surrounding Mary’s Dormition/Assumption is woven through an apocryphal legend about the Apostle Thomas – the story goes that when Thomas entered Mary’s tomb, he found only her burial sheet and a fragrant array of flowers and herbs. Only one of countless stories associating fragrant botanicals with Mary, this summertime feast features an age-old tradition of blessing flowers, herbs, and the August harvest. It invites us to celebrate this abundance through the lens of Mary, the fragrant Theotokos (“God-Bearer”), who bore the gift that awoke us to abundance.

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BARTLEMAS
August 24


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MICHAELMAS
September 29


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HALLOWTIDE
October 31 – November 2


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St. FRANCIS’ DAY
October 4


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MARTINMAS
November 11


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