There are two Sundays in November on which the hangings are white—what a relief after the long, long, green summer. The first is All Saints’ Day, which actually falls on a Sunday this year, so no need to move it to the Sunday after November 1. In the Anglican Church, All Saints’ is one of nine principal feasts, but the Episcopal Church only has seven of them. (Candlemas and the Annunciation just didn’t cross the ocean well, I guess.) All Saints’ is also one of the four days in the year especially recommended for baptisms. It’s a big day! So Amy Johnson pulled together the bell choir again to play on a couple of the hymns, and the offertory anthem will feature not just the choir but a lot of intricate organ parts for Paul Lundy. Best of all, you get to enjoy it on an extra hour of sleep—we set the clocks back on Halloween night.
As if that weren’t enough excitement for one month, the weekend before Thanksgiving is Christ the King Sunday and the end of Ordinary Time at last. The lessons for that day, as you have probably guessed, are all about kingdom and ruling and dominion. It takes very little time to pick out hymns for Christ the King; we’ll crown him Lord of all and crown him with many crowns that day. The choir is singing an anthem I bought just for this Sunday— Rejoice! The Lord Is King!—and it’s one of those that, amazingly, everyone likes. I wish I could really express how remarkable consensus among musicians is.
So we end up the church year with a splash, and November 29 ushers in the beginning of Advent and a brand new church year. Isn’t it a lovely cycle?
(reposted from the November Hilltop Herald)