Seasons

As the seasons of the natural world change through the year, so the Church observes a series of seasons

The Feast of the Presentation of Christ, also known as Candlemas, is celebrated forty days after the joyful celebration of Christmas. The Christ-child, recognised by the magi at his birth, is now recognised by Simeon and Anna when he is presented in the Temple. Simeon’s final words turn our gaze from the celebration at the manger towards the mysteries of Easter.

 

Taken from Window in St George’s Lady Chapel

 

EpiphanyThe Epiphany (manifestation) is the occasion on which we celebrate the visit of the magi to the Christ Child.  The Epiphany story contains the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles which is why, during the Season of Epiphany, we pray for the worldwide mission of the Church and celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18 Jan to 25 Jan). During the Week of Prayer Churches Together in Beckenham (CTiB) provide an opportunity to share worship with other christians in a series of acts of worship and fellowship.

 

Christmas
The Celebration of Christ’s incarnation at Christmas is one of the two major feasts of the Christian Year.  The wonderful mystery of God’s dwelling among us in the fullness of humanity, as foretold by the prophets and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, provides the background to the celebration.  The task of our liturgy and worship during the Christmas Season is to recall us, amid all the joyful customs and celebrations, to the central truth of the Word made flesh for our salvation.

 

Advent 

Advent is the Season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming (adventus) of Christ in his incarnation, and also looks ahead to his final advent as judge at the end of time.  The liturgy and scripture of the Advent Season not only direct us towards Christ’s birth but also challenge us to reflect upon the theme of divine judgement.

 

All Saints to Advent

The Season from All Saints’ to Advent – All Christians, through baptism, become members one of another in Christ, members of a company of saints whose mutual belonging transcends death.  All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day both celebrate this mutual belonging and allow us to remember with thanksgiving before God, the lives of the saints and those we have known in our own lives. Remembrance Sunday invites us to reflect upon issues of war and peace, after which the annual cycle of the Church’s year ends with the Feast of Christ the King.  The year that begins with the hope of the coming Messiah ends with the proclamation of his universal sovereignty.  The Feast of Christ the King returns us to the Advent theme of judgement, with which the Church’s year begins once more.

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