Thursday, May 9, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

Don't Celebrate Mother

Celebrate the King!

A few Facebook friends have posted legitimate concerns about the upcoming Hallmark Holy Day, and how the celebration of Mother's Day by churches wiill affect, and possibly hurt, the single women, childless women, and all for whom the celebration of motherhood may cause feeling of exclusion and pain. It's a point well taken.

I offer a solution. Don't follow the Hallmark Calendar, but the Liturgical Calendar. According to that Calendar today (May 9) is Ascension Day and Sunday (May 12) is Ascension Sunday. 

I understand my Puritan friends are cringing. I undererstand. However, I would suggest that the celebration of the Ascension, a greatly neglected event and doctrine in the life of the church, is the lesser of the two evils! 

I have never cared for the Hallmark Calendar having any impact on the life of the church. In the common life of society I am happy to celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day. As a grandparent of 13 I am hoping that Grandparent's Day will catch on! But I don't like it in church where it can drip with a sickening sentimetality. 

So, in observance  of Ascension Day today and of  Ascension Sunday, here is the Collect of Ascension Day from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through the same Jesus Christ who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
Let me play the role of church optometrist: This?

Or this? 
Celebrate your mother at home with family. Celebrate the King at church with the saints. 

1 comment:

mozart said...

Amen! For the life of me, I can’t understand why this important day in the church year is totally neglected–in Germany, it’s actually a national holiday, Christi Himmelfahrt (which has mainly been butchered into “Father’s Day–another story). This Sunday is Ascension Sunday–but it won’t get a mention at all in most churches, instead it will be all about Mother’s Day, which for some reason the Reformers neglected as a holy day. Dr. Michael Horton mentions this neglect and subsuming of Ascension Day into Resurrection as something we do to our peril, in his systematic theology book.