Sunday, February 16 marked the end of the Epiphany season and the beginning of a new season, the pre-Lenten season and this was The Sunday called Septuagesima , or the Third Sunday before Lent and approximately 70 days before Easter (Septuagesima is the Latin for seventieth). The theme of this short season is self-discipline to prepare us for the disciplines of Lent, and altar and vestment colors have switched to dark blue reflecting the solemnity of the time. These “gesima” Sundays are a sixth-century tradition which is now preserved only in traditional Episcopal churches such as ours.
Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the scripture lessons for the day on the theme of temperance and justice. The Epistle, 1st Corinthians 9:24 is a lesson by St. Paul in discipline: “Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” In this life we run a race, but not for worldly goals, but for an incorruptible or spiritual goal. The Gospel for the day. St. Matthew 20:1 is the parable of the vineyard in which Jesus teaches that God’s view of justice is not the same as ours and that those who work for the Kingdom of God will be rewarded no matter when they come to God.
On Tuesday I attended funeral services for former Ava resident, Clinton Maloney, who passed away at the age of 98. Clinton was a very active member of the Ava community in years past and a sizable number of people turned out for the services. His daughter, Judy, was in my class of 1960 at Ava High and several members of our class were in attendance. The weather lately has set me to thinking about that year in which we had so many snow days that we didn’t graduate until June and I hope this year’s class will not have the same experience.
I spent Saturday at Hillcrest High School in Springfield judging a speech tournament and had a very rewarding day judging some very talented and hard-working young people.
Saturday evening I joined Chandler Connell for our traditional pre-concert dinner at Gilardi’s then attended the Springfield Symphony Orchestra concert. A very satisfying day.
For information on St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.