Tomorrow is the First Sunday of Advent, which is the first day of the New Church Year. How about using real wine for communion to celebrate the New Year instead of using wimpy grape juice. Anyway, I just thought I'd point this fact out to those of you who aren't accustomed to observing the historic Liturgical Year. The Church has lived by this Calendar for centuries. Gradually, most Protestants have broken farther and farther away from the Catholic Church (and the Eastern Orthodox Church) and its annual celebration cycle. Now the Contemporary Church is mostly ignorant of this rich, supportive structure. Perhaps it would relieve some of the planning demands on leaders of the Contemporary Church, always trying to come up with new and improved structural models, if instead they leaned on the solid foundation of the Church Year and the endless creative potential it opens up. Here is the prayer for the First Sunday of Advent, p. 211 in the Book of Common Prayer.

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Happy New Year!

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