ST. GEORGE – A message from The Very Reverend Stephen Brehe of Grace Episcopal Church.
No. I’m not a month early. The old church year wrapped up on Nov. 20 with the Feast of Christ the King. The new church year begins Nov. 27 with the First Sunday in Advent. So, wishing everybody a happy new year is in order.
What is Advent? The word comes from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming.” Advent has a double focus: A season to prepare for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered; and, a time to ponder and pray about Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time.
Different colors are used for the church year. Increasingly throughout the Anglican Communion blue is used for Advent. During Advent, we will green the church in preparation for Christmas. But to emphasize that we are still preparing for Christ’s coming, blue bows will adorn the greens.
Some people think Advent is a mini-Lent. Surprise. That’s not the case. The Book of Common Prayer lists only Lent and Fridays during the year (except Fridays in the Christmas and Easter seasons) as days of special devotion and self-denial.
You will notice a more modest tone in Advent music. The Gloria in Excelsis is not used in Advent. The Kyrie replaces it. We will sing some great Advent hymns, including “O Come, O come, Emmanuel.”
There’s an Advent wreath by the ambo (pulpit). We can thank the great reformer, Martin Luther, for the Advent wreath. Each week we will light a blue candle to remind us that the true Light of the World has come, is coming, and will come again.
Okay. If it’s a new year, how about some resolutions? Here’s one for you: To put the past year behind you and come and worship more regularly this new year.
Brehe is priest-in-charge at Grace Episcopal Church. Services with Holy Eucharist are offered Wednesdays at noon in the chapel, Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. with piano accompaniment, Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. (Rite I the traditional service), and at 10:30 a.m. (Rite II the contemporary service) with choir and organ performing. Bible study is offered twice weekly and pastoral care is an ongoing ministry.
Grace Episcopal Church is located at 1072 E. 900 South in St George. The office is open Tuesday–Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and the telephone number is 435-628-1181. The web site is gracestgeorge.org. The church is fully accessible and there’s a large, convenient parking lot.
Grace Episcopal Church is a reconciling, affirming, and inclusive Christian community striving through worship, love and service to welcome all people. No matter where you are on your journey of faith or what your marital status, age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic condition, physical or mental ability, our welcome knows no boundaries. We believe that God delights in the diversity of creation, and so do we!
We at Grace are committed to welcoming all and experiencing the love of God through community. Through our ministries and fellowship we attempt to follow in the footsteps of the Lord by caring for each other at times of need, supporting each other in times of distress, celebrating with one another at times of joy, and reaching out beyond our church boundaries in compassion and love.
We invite you to search, learn and grow with us as we seek to fulfill the mission of the Church to reconcile all things to God in Christ.