From the Rector: Planned Giving

You may have noticed that this year we have chosen not to use green as the liturgical color for the ordinary Sundays after the Epiphany.  You may have also noticed that for the weekdays which are ferias we have not used green either.  Since the Twelve Days of Christmas and the feast of the Epiphany, the liturgical color for our ordinary days of celebration this January has been white.  This will continue until the Feast of Candlemas, the fortieth day after Christmas.  This is the practice of the Church of England's calendar - white is used until February 2, the Presentation of Our Lord, and then green is used until the beginning of Lent.  By doing this we have a true Epiphany season - a time which continues the incarnational focus begun with Advent and Christmas.

At St. Mark's we always celebrate February 2 with great solemnity. Also known as the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Candlemas, it is the day that Mary and Joseph brought our Lord to the Temple, forty days after his birth.  Simeon and Anna who have been waiting for the coming of the Messiah are overjoyed to meet the Christ Child.  At the mass on this day we always hear the Song of Simeon, "Lord you now let your servant depart in peace," the second canticle we recite every night at Evening Prayer.  Throughout the history of the church, this became the day when candles would be blessed, hence the additional name - Candlemas.

February 2 is one of the more ancient feasts of the church, beginning in the East. By the 600s it was celebrated in the West. The focus seemed to be more Marian, as many of the great feast days in the early church were (the Annunciation and the Assumption BVM, for instance).  Today when we celebrate this feast we see the theme of light continuing from Christmas Day and the Epiphany. Jesus Christ shall be the light for the whole world - no more shall the Gentiles be in darkness. The light continues to grow.

On Sunday, February 2, the Feast of the Presentation will be celebrated at all masses.  At the solemn high mass we will have a procession, and at Evensong & Benediction we will begin with the Candlemas Ceremonies. After evensong there will be a reception in the rectory for the members of the Society of St. Mark - those who have remembered St. Mark's in their wills and estate planning.  If you have remembered the church in your will, please let me or our treasurer, Michael Ida, know. If you would like more information about doing so, we can help with that too. 

Blessings to you this Epiphany season,  
Father Paul Lillie+