Monday, March 24, 2008

The Proper of the Day: Monday of Easter Week

In the Episcopal church, the entire week after Easter is celebrated as a series of Major Feasts. Originally called an "octave," meaning "eight," there were a lot of octaves observed at various times in the life of the Church, including the Octave of Christmas (12 days, really!) the Octave of Pentecost, and sometimes various octaves for saints of local veneration. But this is the only one remaining, which seems appropriate to me. Thus, today is Monday of Easter Week.

The First Lesson this week comes from Acts - it's a tradition during the Easter Octave and the Sundays of Eastertide to recount the early days of the Church in place of a selection from the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus, today is St. Peter's first public sermon, at Pentecost. And today's gospel has certain affinities with John's version as well, especially the phrase, "and they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him." Apparently, though, no confusion about who Jesuswas, a la Mary and the gardener.

I wonder if the details about securing the tomb by the temple police are made up or true?

Here's some more music from Part III of The Messiah in honor of the Octave:

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Christ is risen!


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