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Showing posts from December, 2014

The Second Sunday after Christmas, 4 January 2015

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The Second Sunday after Christmas, 4 January 2014 Jeremiah 31:7-14 Psalm 84 Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a St. Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23, or St. Luke 2:41-52, or St. Matthew 2:1-12


Background: From Christmas to Epiphany In past comments I’ve described the important days that immediately follow Christmas, namely St. Stephen’s Day (26 December), St. John’s Day (27 December), and The Holy Innocents (28 December).In the Lutheran and Episcopal Calendars, there are provisions for Christmas I and Christmas II, the Sundays following Christmas. The Roman calendar is different, with its provision for The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph that falls on the Sunday immediately following Christmas. The Gospel for that celebration is the account of the Presentation (St. Luke 2:22-40). The Gospels for the first and second Sundays of Christmas in the Episcopal and Lutheran Calendars are the Prologue to the Gospel of John (John 1) for the First Sunday, and a choice of Gospels for the Second Sunday – the Gospe…

The First Sunday of Christmas, 28 December 2014

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The First Sunday after Christmass, 28 December 2014 Isaiah 61:10 – 62:3 Psalm 147 Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7 St. John 1:1-18

Background:  St. Stephen, St. John, and The Holy Innocents. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, there is a rule of precedence that does not allow the use of the propers for the three days noted above should they follow on a Sunday.  The on-line lectionary gives a caution: This Sunday takes precedence over the three Holy Days, which follow Christmas Day. As necessary, the observance of one, two, or all three of them is postponed one day.  Readers and those preaching on this day may want to take some time to devote themselves to these three days and the instructive nature they afford the celebration of Christmass.  It might be a good thing, having immersed ourselves in our cultures celebration of the holidays, to devote ourselves to the cost of what Christmass really is - to see what it means to follow Jesus.  
First, 26 December is Stephen, protomartyr and deacon, marty…