E-pistle Dec 2

A Twilight Moment

In Jewish tradition, a new day begins at sundown. That's the reason Shabbat is celebrated on Friday night, Christmas Eve counts as the first service of Christmas, and Saturday night services fulfill Sunday morning obligations. It helps understand why a new church year begins at the darkest time of the year and why the early church chose the days following the winter solstice as the time to celebrate Christmas.
This week, a clergy friend wrote a blog about how the blue color used in the vestments of Advent reminded him of the twilight and how for him Advent was one of those transitional, twilight, kind of seasons. His words came back to me last Sunday evening at the 5:15 service in the chapel. The lights were down low and that intimate space was filled with the light of candles and the sounds of a jazz piano and gospel singer. To be honest, it had been a long day after a series of long days. The great sounds of the organ and choir from the morning still resonated in my heart and I didn't really want to go. It only took a minute, however, for the peace, the beauty, and the centering calm of that twilight service to make me realize that going there was the most meaningful thing I could have possibly done. Saying the prayers and lighting the Advent candle, I knew that something new was happening and that the season of Advent had begun.
"The night heralds the dawn." This phrase from Night Prayer in the New Zealand Prayer Book puts it well. For some, we are in a time of darkness. For those in grief or pain, the holidays can hurt and blue comes not in Advent but in Christmas itself. If this is you, try using the Advent as time of twilight, an opportunity for candles to be lit, for lights to shine, and for a new day to begin

Posted in: Dean's Message  E-pistle 
Post Date: Sunday, December 04, 2016 6:40 AM