One of the things I love about The Episcopal Church is our liturgical seasons. You know, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Each season has its own feel, like Lent is somber and reflective while Easter is joyful and hopeful. Our bible readings for each also fit broadly into the theme for each season. Our liturgical colors change from season to season as well. Green for the long “ordinary times” of Epiphany and the seasons after Pentecost, as well as purple, white, blue, and a bit of red.
Another way we mark our seasons is by using different liturgical forms at different times. We change out different prayers and responses seasons to season to help use remember with our words the current season of our church. (We never say “Alleluia” in Lent; we say “Alleluia” extra often with extra gusto in Easter.)
The season after Pentecost is long. It runs from the end of May/beginning of June all the way through to the end of November. We keep the same green hangings all season, but usually we have one form of worship for the summer and a different form of worship in the fall.
We’ll begin using our fall bulletin a week from tomorrow. One of the things we’ll be doing this fall is practicing expanding our understanding of God through the words we use. In this life-altering season of Pandemic, racial strife, and political division it is crucial that we understand the big-ness of God — and that’s what expansive language can do. As words don’t quite flow off our tongues as they used to, that box we keep God in opens up a bit. We perhaps notice something new about God, or we think about why we’ve always spoken about God in this way but not that way.
This fall, our liturgy invites us to get to know God better. God is not as small as our understanding of God. God is so much bigger than what we currently imagine. This fall, our liturgy will give us a breath of fresh air — for some it will be from a deep, cleansing breath, for others it may be because of a quick gasp. Either way, new air/new life will come into our worship as we together practice some new ways to name and think about our God.