Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Please Don't Fiddle with the Calendar

This has bugged me ever since the ELCA decided on it's own to change up the calendar and move all the feast days away from Sunday to a Monday.  It started a big old discussion on the ELCA facebook page when they innocently enough declared Monday was the Commemoration of St. Mark  and I and others responded..."Um...no it's not- that was yesterday"

I hate to be on a pick on the ELCA kick and God knows the stuffy legalise cover your ass way they are responding to the injustice of the Augsburg Fortress pension scandal  is more serious than what day you decide to commemorate a saint...but still  ...

The response I got from whomever runs the facebook says "well you aren't supposed to do the feast day on a Sunday in Easter anyway.  ??? But I always write something about the commemoration and I figure more people will know about it on a Sunday than a Monday.  What ELCA churches had special worship services yesterday to commemorate Mark?  

And besides they also did it with commemorations in the Green season which I just think is very sad.  It's good to break up the long seasons after Pentecost and to hear some bible stories you don't hear in the regular lectionary and to pay some attention to some bible folks you might not think about otherwise - especially women like Mary Magdalene.  And it just seems like going to wrong direction to decide not going to join our Christian brothers and sisters who commemorate the person on that day and do our own thing.  We need MORE unity, not less.  Do we really want a commemoration to be yet ANOTHER thing that divides us --even if only by a day?

Of course not all churches took advantage of the option to celebrate feast days.  A lot of the churches I served did until I came around.  I'm a bit of a history buff so I'm into that sort of thing.  Sometimes I'd even break the rules like this Lent I preached on Perpetua and Felicity.  Broke two rules - In the Lutheran church only saints from the bible are supposed to supercede the day of the year and only in Green seasons, certainly not Lent.  Oh well.


  1. What the "Well, you're not supposed to do lesser festivals on a Sunday of Easter" response misses is the difference between noting the lesser festival or commemoration and making it the day's focus. The Easter season clearly has precedence and it is those propers and readings that should be used. But the feast of St. Mark was on Sunday not on Monday. In a parish with daily celebrations, or a particular desire to observe that day, transfer to Monday is appropriate. But it should still be listed as the Sunday so that it might be noted, possibly in a prayer of thanksgiving for that evangelist in the prayers of the church or even as just a note without other calendars contradicting it.

    Oh, and I agree about the sundays after Pentecost, too. That was a most unfortunate change in the rubrics of the ELW. I would wish to see any of the lesser festivals be the correct propers for a green Sunday on which they occur. Commemorations should always simply be inclusions in the regular liturgies of the day. At least those would be my druthers.

  2. Are you looking forward to Aug 15 as much as I am? Mary, Mother of our Lord. We will be celebrating that one in my congregations!

  3. Sundays and Seasons be damned! We're celebrating Theotokos in mine too!

  4. At first, my only big concern about ELW was the psalter. There were a few other things I didn't like, either -- a number of clunkily translated collects, no notes for "Praise to you, O Christ," and so forth. But mostly the psalter.

    As time goes by, though, those "other things" are starting to add up.

    There are a few things that I really like about ELW. Better hymn harmonizations, more eucharistic prayers, and other things. But ... if I had to choose, I'm not sure what I'd do.

    Here in the mission field of Central Eastern Notongooglemaps, we use the LBW, mostly because somebody stuck a few in a suitcase for us.