Chillin' in Ordinary Time

With Hot Sauce Sunday – also known as Pentecost – behind us, we now move into that long church season known as Ordinary Time. It’s the season of the church year that stretches from now to Advent.

 This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, the one holy day on the church calendar that celebrates not a person nor an event in the life of our Lord, but a doctrine of the church. It took theologians some 300 years to work out the Doctrine of the Trinity as stated in the Nicene Creed. And, to be honest, it’s still a source of great puzzlement to many. 

 In any case, we get to see our white vestments and paraments one last time this Sunday, and then we’ll put them away until All Saints Day in November, and we’ll move to our green paraphernalia.

 Usually, with the coming of Ordinary Time, we’d make a few seasonal changes to our liturgy. We’d move to a different Eucharistic Prayer (We’ve been using Prayer A from the Book of Common Prayerthroughout Eastertide); and we would choose some different musical settings of the Mass, meaning we’d sing a different form of the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Fraction. 

 But this year, for the time being, we’re NOT going to make those changes. We’re going to continue using the same liturgy we’ve been using, at least until we get a new permanent choir director in place. Hopefully, that will happen within the next few weeks. Once that person has been hired, the choir director will have some input into what our liturgy will look like for the rest of the summer and beyond. But there’s no point in changing it now, only to change it again in a few weeks. 

 In the meantime, we WILL move to a more casual approach to worship for the summer. We won’t ask our choir and acolytes to wear those heavy cassocks – at least not until we achieve our goal of getting the church air conditioned! And I will avoid putting on that heavy chasuble, which easily raises my ambient temperature a good 10 degrees or more. I invite you all to also dress cool and comfortably for the summer. Nice shorts are fine.

 The choir won’t attempt to schedule mid-week practices this summer. But anyone who would like to sing in our “pickup” choir on Sunday is invited to arrive at 8 a.m. for a quick run-through of the songs to be sung that day. The music will be simpler, not requiring as much practice. If you’ve ever considered joining the choir, this is the perfect chance to try it out without making a major commitment. Just show up a little early on Sunday, and if you enjoy it, we hope you’ll decide to take the next step and officially join the choir come fall. 

 Our Christian formation program will take a break for summer, so there will be no more regularly scheduled Adult Forums until fall. We may, however, plan one or more Parish Round Tables in coming weeks as we continue the process of discerning our vision for St. James and its leadership. The Children’s Sunday School class will continue to meet as there is demand for it.

 So let’s all chill out and enjoy this laid-back season of summer Ordinary Time. May it be to each of us a time of rest, refreshment and renewal.