Grace Notes

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 22, APRIL 24, 2011

The Fifty Days of Easter
Easter, also known as Pascha or the Christian Passover, is the greatest and oldest feast of the Christian Church and it is the center of the Christian Year. On this day the Church celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great act of salvation on which everything in the Church rests and out of which all the power of the Church springs. There is no holier night than the Great Vigil of Easter when Christ is raised from the dead in our midst, and Easter Sunday morning continues that celebration with the announcement of his resurrection.

We have prepared for this feast with that forty-day long season of fasting and abstinence called Lent, and, after the Great Three Day liturgy of Easter, we continue to celebrate Easter for fifty straight days, culminating in the great feast of Pentecost.

Like Christmas (though thankfully to a lesser extent) some will begin the celebration of Easter prematurely (Easter Egg hunts in the park on Holy Saturday, for example), but there is no need for this. Easter is fifty days long and there is plenty of time to celebrate it in its proper time.

Grace Church celebrates the full fifty days of Easter with the joy and festivity that is intended for it. This season has historically been celebrated as one, long, extended Lordís day, with no fasting, no abstinences and no kneeling for prayer (the latter, one of the canons of the Council of Nicaea, 325AD, wonít be the official practice here, but if you would like to follow the canons of that council which are still binding on Anglicans, please feel free to do so). We will sing Easter hymns throughout the season and Alleluia will be a frequently heard and sung word. Incense will be offered each Sunday, the Baptismal Font will be prominently placed and we will be sprinkled with Holy Water from the font each Sunday to remind us that we, too, have died and been raised with Christ.

Pentecost, or Whitsunday, is the fiftieth day of Easter and celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles (Acts 2:1). It is the second most appropriate day for Baptism after the Great Vigil of Easter (and, Iím excited to say, that we will celebrate Holy Baptism on that day this year) and is second only to Easter in terms of importance as a Holy Day (it is a far more important day than Christmas, for example). On Pentecost Sunday the color of vestments and appointments is red, for the tongues of flame that appeared on the Apostles when the Holy Spirit descended upon them and it is customary for members of the congregation to wear red on this day as well.

The Gloria in excelsisreturns for the fifty days of Easter as do Alleluias, which are in fact required at certain points in the liturgy during this season. Flowers return as well, and music becomes more extravagant. The color of the season is white (with Pentecost red as the only exception) and the Paschal Candle is prominently placed in the chancel to burn from Easter through Pentecost.

Happy Easter!

--Father Rhodes

WESTWOOD HERITAGE DAY... Grace Church will be participating in Westwood Heritage Day on Sunday May 22nd. This is a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to the community. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS. Please talk to Debbi about volunteering for set-up, clean-up, and/or manning the table for some period of time. WE ALSO NEED DONATIONS. Please bring new items we can sell at the table to raise money. You can bring your donations in at any time from now until May 21st and give them to Debbi. Any questions please email or call Debbi. THANKS!!!

DONATE TO FOOD FOR FRIENDS... St. Paul's Community Development Corporation Food Pantry in Paterson especially welcomes high protein items, such as beans and canned meats. Alternatively checks may be drawn in favor of St. Paul's CDC and marked Food Pantry. Please send checks directly to St. Paul's at 451 Van Houten Street, Paterson, NJ 07501 Thank you.

Ministers of the Assembly

April 24May 1
MP Officiant and LEM (8 am)Andy SmethurstAndy Smethurst
Lay EucharisticTheresa PeterJim Davidson
Ministers (10 am)Evans RoacheMary Sunden
LectorMack HarrellElaine Martin
Intercessor (Prayers)Daisy ToppinRandy Scott
Chief ServerWarren HirstiusLeslie Bisdale
AcolytesJustin HirstiusRebecca Bisdale
Rebecca BisdaleEmily Thomas
ThuriferEvans RoacheKate Landi
UshersMickey HafemannJim Davidson
Bill HafemannBillie Evans
CountersLarry SundenJanet Delaney
Randy ScottSusan Schneider
Altar GuildPat LandiTheresa Peter
Chris ScottBillie Evans
Coffee HourNancy SobeckPat Landi
Una ThomasEleanor Thomas