NEWSLETTER May 2017
JUNE services at St Michael and All Angels
Sunday 4 June, Whitsunday Colour: red, Celebrant: Archbishop Graham Preston
Sunday 18 June, Sunday within the octave of Corpus Christi, Colour: White
Sundays with no service at St Michael’s:
Sunday 11 June, Trinity Sunday, Colour: White
Sunday 25 June, Sunday within the octave of St Alban, Colour: red, Intent: God as Light
The month of June is a busy month which has a rich trio of important festivals – Whitsun (Pentecost), Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi. There are also the important anniversaries of St John the Baptist and St Alban, Martyr, worldwide Patron of the Liberal Catholic Church. The Trinity Sundays start their 23-Sunday trajectory towards Advent on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
Whitsunday or Pentecost (which means “50 days” and occurs 49 days after Easter Sunday) is celebrated on Sunday 4th June this year. It commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples as they were gathered in a private room in Jerusalem. The Gospels record that on this occasion a great change took place in the behaviour of the disciples. They changed from being rather scared, confused and anxious to being publicly outgoing, confident and articulate. The assembled followers of Jesus, who had promised to send them a “comforter”, were transformed from disciples to apostles. The word “apostle” means someone who “travels out” with a message.
This same Holy Spirit is invoked by us during our Liberal Catholic services of Healing and our ordinations, for example. These are always accompanied by the singing of “Veni Creator”.
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin: The Holy Spirit (depicted by the dove and tongues of fire) descending on the disciples.
The Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday (a white vestment festival). On this Sunday all three aspects of God are celebrated – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is a consistent connection between the symbolism of the Trinity and the form and content of the Eucharist as celebrated by the Liberal Catholic Church.
Rose window Santisima, Trinidad: Depiction of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Third in the trio of celebrations is Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (15 June) and 60 days after Easter. Corpus Christi (“body of Christ) commemorates the presence of Christ, symbolised in the Eucharist by the Host and Wine (grape juice in our case. This festival links the first symbolic Eucharist on Maundy Thursday evening, through Easter and the Ascension, to Corpus Christi, a reminder to us all that the Christ presence is with us during every Eucharist and in our daily lives.
Each of the 23 Sundays in Trinity has an “intent”, a new message each Sunday which allows us to reflect and piece together the teachings of the Sundays and Festivals of June. Every year, gaining increased clarity from the Trinity intents and weaving the intents into our daily lives will continually bring us increased meaning and satisfaction.
With God’s blessing