Low Sunday and The Great Fifty Days
April 12, 2015, 11:48 AM

"Low” Sunday really doesn’t mean “low-attendance Sunday,” although we seem to have plenty of those these days anyway.  Now the weather is warming up, I hope you will be able to come join us! 

That’s because Easter is not just one day – it is FIFTY; in which every single day is a chance to explore what the resurrection means to our community and to each of us as part of that community.

In fact, it’s not just 50 days – it’s “THE GREAT FIFTY DAYS.”  Leonel Mitchell, author of Lent, Holy Week, Easter and the Great Fifty Days: A Ceremonial Guide, wrote, that these are “the season of mystagogy.”   That means “the study of mysteries.”

He says that by the 4th century, leading Christian teachers, such as Ambrose of Milan and Cyril of Alexandria, used this time after Easter specifically to teach the newly baptized about the sacraments and their new life in Christ.

I’ll be following their lead.  We’ll use the 1st Letter of John (which we read on Sundays all season long) as our door to enter the domain of mystery and wonder, exploring how Jesus Christ secures for us salvation, forgiveness of sins, and reason for hope despite a very unbalanced and too often unkind world.

In addition to this textual exploration, we will make two liturgical moves:

First, we will be using a new (ancient) canticle in place of the Gloria at the beginning of the liturgy – we’ll be singing the Pascha nostrum, the “Christ our Passover.” This canticle rehearses what Christ has done for us through his Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension.  

Second, we will not be using a form of corporate confession, except as included in the Prayers of the People. 

As part of your own personal observance of Easter’s Fifty Days, I invite you to make use pf the daily meditations, “Fifty Fabulous Days,” which are posted on the website http://50days.org.  (An excerpt is printed on page 4 of this newsletter.)  

Alleluia, Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!