February 5 - Epiphany 5 - Holy Communion
Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9 (or 1-12); Psalm 112:1-9; 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16); Matthew 5:13-20
February 12 - Epiphany 6
Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37
February 19 - Epiphany 7
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Psalm 119: 33-40; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23; Matthew 5:38-48
February 26 - Transfiguration of Jesus
Readings: Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 2 or 99; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9
In broad terms, the first half of the traditional church year progresses through the life of Jesus as it is presented in the Gospel of St Matthew, from his birth (Christmas, with preparation in Advent) to his death (Easter, with preparation in Lent) with the celebration of the resurrection continuing to Pentecost, the day which marks the gift of the Spirit (June 4th). In between is the season of Epiphany, a time when we reflect on ways Christ became known to all peoples, regardless of race, beliefs or status. This year, Easter is relatively late (Easter Sunday is April 16th), so the whole of the month of February falls before Lent. Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent, will be celebrated on March 1st with a traditional service at 7.00pm at Scots, including the “imposition of the ashes” when we use the ashes from the palm crosses of 2016 are used to mark our foreheads.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival starts on February 17th and runs to March 19th, with the Clipsal 500 on the weekend of March 5th. (Rev Dr Peter Trudinger)
Easter Together in 2017
On 1st March, Ash Wednesday, we will move into Lent and once again begin our journey to Easter and Pentecost. 2017 is special because Christians from all traditions will celebrate Easter Day and Pentecost on the same day this year – Easter Day on 16th April, Pentecost on 4th June.
The two dates coincide when the full moon following the equinox comes so late that it counts as the first full moon after 21st March in the Julian calendar as well as the Gregorian calendar. This is not a regular occurrence, but it has happened more frequently in recent years – in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014. After this year, 2017, we will not have a common date again until 2034, unless the quiet negotiations between the Western and Eastern Churches that have been going on since the turn of the century bring about an agreement for all to celebrate on the same days. Pray that this historic division in Christ's universal church may soon be resolved! Rev Norah Norris
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