Low Sunday (Easter I)
The First Sunday after Easter is commonly called Low Sunday. The exact history of the term “Low Sunday” has been lost to time. Some have asserted that “Low” is a corruption of the Latin laudes, from the Easter Sequence Hymn Victimae Paschali Laudes (“Christians to the Pascal Victim offer your thankful praises”), which we sang last Sunday and is repeated throughout Easter Week. “Praise Sunday” does have a nice ring to it considering the celebratory context of Easter. Others have argued that the designation “Low” for this second Sunday in the Easter Octave is a simple reflection that this day does not have the same high solemnity of Easter Sunday itself. This makes much sense to our contemporary practices. Following the high drama of Holy Week and the Feast of the Resurrection, Low Sunday allows us to catch our breath. That is not to say Easter I and the following Sundays of Eastertide are not important, but it is natural for the Church to stop and exhale.
The Christian concept of celebrating feast days as “octaves” most likely grew from the Jewish practice of observing seven and sometimes eight day feasts. By the fourth century, the feast of Easter was given one of these eight day celebrations lasting from Sunday to Sunday. In those ancient days the newly baptized at the Easter Vigil remained in joyous seclusion during the Octave and emerged on Low Sunday to shed their white baptismal garments; a symbolic act of them joining the larger Body of Christ. Each day of the Easter Octave was as important and carried the same liturgical weight as Easter Sunday itself. At each Easter Week Mass, the Gloria, the Church’s hymn of praise, was sung or recited. The Gradual verse recited at each weekday mass during the octave is the same: “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” This proclamation is an important reminder of the central reality of our faith: Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
So on this Low Sunday let us eschew the tendency to take it easy, and let us move forward with what our faith calls us to do. In the Epistle for Low Sunday, St. John tells us that the life given by the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood is the ongoing and perpetual witness to the Son of God. The Holy Spirit creates new life in us, which is seen outwardly in our baptism. Then the Spirit feeds and strengthens that life through our communion with Christ as we receive his body and blood. Of this same subject St. John Chrysostom wrote: “The Church consisteth of these two together, and those who are initiated know this, being regenerated by water and nourished by the Blood and Flesh. Hence the Sacraments take their beginning.” The Church fulfils her mission and grows as she abides in Christ and He abides in her. To be the Church means that we stress this new life above all else.
We must continue to live into the sacramental life of the Church to serve as a witness to others. How are we serving this witness when an Easter Sunday visitor, impressed by what they experienced, returns on Low Sunday only to find a lot more elbow room and a lot less energy? St. John is teaching us that the Church lives through us when we are all gathered together in worship; that the Holy Ghost’s presence in us is most powerful when we are actively participating in the life of the Church. Let this be our witness to the world that Jesus is our Lord and that indeed, He has risen. And don’t forget to KEEP FEASTING! ALLELUIA!
--Fr. Deacon Chris
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast.
Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but
with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
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Sunday Services, 7:45, 9:00 & 11:15 AM nursery care provided during 9 & 11:15 AM services (for online participation for the services go to: Facebook Live feed )
Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion
Vestry meeting, Monday April 25, 7:30 PM, undercroft
Please remember to pray for everyone on the parish's prayer list that is in the attached bulletins.
Your Food Donations are Greatly Needed
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar). Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar
MaRIH Center is also in great need of our help (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need. If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)
Baby wipes (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1, 4, 5, & 6)
Similac Advanced Formula
Batteries (all sizes)
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