Pentecost is the great festival that marks the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost means "fiftieth day" and is celebrated fifty days after Easter.
Pentecost – So What Exactly is the Big Deal?
To begin, Pentecost is the great festival that marks the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit. The word Pentecost actually means, ‘fiftieth day’ and so is celebrated fifty days after Easter. And if this were not enough, it is one of the few days in the church year that we use the colour red in our celebrations, which I suppose is just an added bonus!
To briefly recap the story of Pentecost, just ten days earlier Jesus had said goodbye to his followers returning to heaven, but not before promising to send a helper, the Holy Spirit. So as the apostles, Mary, and many of Jesus’ disciples gathered these ten days later for the Jewish harvest festival that celebrated on the fiftieth day after harvest ‘a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads. Filled with the Spirit, this group would burst out onto the streets and speaking in a whole variety of languages, they would proclaim the Gospel, preaching boldly and welcoming 3,000 souls into their gathering that day. The Church was born!
Interestingly enough the Day of Pentecost is followed by first Trinity Sunday and then the season of Pentecost, the longest of the liturgical season (this year running from June 23rd to November 24), a season centered on the work of the Holy Spirit in the day-to-day lives of Christians with an emphasis on evangelism, mission, stewardship and other acts of love and mercy empowered by God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.
So while we marvel at Christmas in God’s gift to us of His Son, and at Easter in that same Son’s triumph over the power of sin and death, without the gift of God’s Spirit at Pentecost, empowering, guiding and directed the growth of the Church, where would we be today? So yes, Pentecost, it’s a big deal! As we focus on this season on the work that God strives to do in our hearts and in our lives, we call upon this Spirit to be the force of change in us, through us, and all around us. Happy Birthday!
Why is Pentecost sometimes called "WhitSunday"?
A tradition of some churches in ancient times was to baptize adult converts to the faith on Pentecost. The newly baptized catechumens would wear white robes on that day, so Pentecost was often called "Whitsunday" or "White Sunday" after these white baptismal garments. Many Christian calendars, liturgies, and hymnals (particularly those from the Episcopal/Anglican tradition) still use this term. An appropriate day for First Communion and Confirmation in the life of the church.
What is the liturgical colour for Pentecost?
Red is the liturgical colour for this day. Red recalls the tongues of flame in which the Holy Spirit descended on the first Pentecost. The colour red also reminds us of the blood of the martyrs. These are the believers of every generation who by the power of the Holy Spirit hold firm to the true faith even at the cost of their lives.
Lent is a season of preparation leading up to Easter. It is the forty days plus the six Sundays before Easter. For centuries, it has been observed as a special time of self-examination and penitence. Lent is a time of spiritual cleansing, of prayer, and of growth in faith…a time of returning to the Lord our God, who is gracious and merciful and abounding in steadfast love.
If you have found yourself away from church and wondered about another try, Lent is the perfect time. For centuries, Lent has offered a chance to try the fellowship of the church one more time. In fact, Lent developed as a way to receive people back into church. If you are questioning your own faith and wondering what you believe, this could be the perfect time to come back to church.
Throughout Lent, the worship services of the church take on a simpler tone, appropriate to this season. Crosses showing the risen Christ are veiled. The word "Alleluia" is not used in the words of the liturgy or hymns. These practices help the worshipping community to mark this season of renewal as a special time in the church year.
The custom is to mark the season of Lent by giving up some things and taking on others. Both can serve to mark the season as a holy time of preparation. Some examples of things people give up for Lent include sweets, meat for all or some meals, and alcohol. In most cases, giving up something for Lent can be made more meaningful by using the money or time for another purpose. For example, meal times on fast days could be spent in prayer. Another example is that if you give up meat during Lent, the extra money that would go to meat dishes can be given to a group, such as World Vision, which works to end hunger worldwide, or Daily Bread which supports London families. Some things added during Lent might be daily Bible reading, extra times of prayer or taking a course of study related in some way to spirituality. Note that the season of Lent is forty days plus the six Sundays. This is because Sundays are celebrations of Jesus’ resurrection and are always an appropriate day to lessen the restrictions of Lent. So that if you have, for example, given up chocolate for Lent, you could indulge in a weekly candy bar on Sunday.
A Question and a Challenge for Lent
At the heart of becoming a disciple of Jesus lies the process of transformation, and at the heart of transformation we find the question, “Where is God in this?” In the midst of our daily living during these 40 days of Lent, can we stop at least once every day to ask this question, and then listen for the whisper of God’s Spirit to us guiding our reflection and our response? Perhaps it can become a habit, a holy habit. Jesus was a master of using the everyday to stretch his disciples beyond their usual view of people, their world, and their understanding of God. Have an experience? Witness an event, reading a particular news story? Don’t rush through, stop … pause … consider, Where is God in this?
Ash Wednesday, 7pm
As we gather on the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, we participate in a liturgy and a ritual that is ancient in its origins. Our prayer book tells us that these ashes, placed upon our foreheads in the shape of the cross, are a sign that speak to us of the frailty and uncertainty of human life. As they are placed upon our heads, we hear the chorus ringing over us as the celebrant moves from person to person, ‘Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’ This may seem an odd, even morbid focus for us, in a society that goes to great lengths to avoid the reality of our own morality, but on this very special evening, far from running from our own mortality, we stand before it, in all its harshness, and we give a nod to its truth. It is no lie, we are dust and to dust we will return. Everything eventually passes. Yet within the parameters of our beginnings and endings, in the interlude called life – much is possible as we acknowledge the love given to us by God, and moving out into the world we strive to extend it to those who spend so many of their days painfully aware that they are dust. It is somehow, nestled in the finiteness of life, and in the rhythmic gesture of this night, that we are invited into each day to acknowledge its fresh brilliance while allowing our resolve to grow ever stronger in service to our God … mindful, grateful, and infused with love. Ash Wednesday, not a service that you usually attend? Never too late to start a good habit. We are especially blessed this year that Bishop Linda will be with us as Celebrant and Officiant. Please plan on attending.
Special Days and Services
This is actually the day before Lent begins. The day is named for the "shriving" or confessing that was traditional on this day before beginning Lent. This day is also known as Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," because it was a time for eating the things from which one would abstain during Lent. Pancake suppers are traditional as they were a way of using up some of the ingredients not needed during Lent. St. Anne’s has an annual pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday.
The first day of Lent is marked with fasting, when safe, and a special liturgy. The theme for the day, though not for all of Lent, is that we stand as sinners condemned to die, but for God’s grace. This is symbolized by the imposition of ashes on the forehead, with the words, "You are dust and to dust you shall return." In the Old Testament, ashes were a sign of penitence (feeling regretful at offenses) and mourning.
St. Anne’s holds an Ash Wednesday service at 7 pm in the church.
Stations of the Cross
These are depictions of 14 incidents in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death, from the condemnation at Pilate’s house to being placed in the tomb. They are used for the service called the Way of the Cross, which visits each station in turn with a brief reading, response, collect and on some occasions, a meditation. This is particularly appropriate for Good Friday and all Fridays in Lent.
The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death.
We encourage you to experience this ancient tradition, remembering that Christ died to save us all from sin. Without truly experiencing the agony of His death, we cannot fully understand the glory of his Resurrection.
Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or simply, The Way) refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period. It may be done at any time, but is most commonly done during the Season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent.
The object of the Stations is to help us make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death. It has become one of the most popular devotions for many Christians.
The Stations themselves are (usually) a series of 14 pictures or sculptures depicting the following:
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus receives the cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets His Mother
5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
6. Veronica wipes Jesus' face with her veil
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense
Each of us wants and needs to have space for quiet, for then one begins to see with the eyes of the heart” - Desmond Tutu.
Come to the Via Dolorosa and take up the Cross. Be with Jesus as He makes his final walk on this earth. Each Station bears its own witness to Our Lord’s final grueling journey. Who will you identify with? Perhaps with Simon of Cyrene who helps and picks up the cross, or perhaps with Veronica who steps out of the crowd to wipe the sweat from His eyes?
Take time this Lent, to not only “talk the talk”, but also “walk the walk”. Experience what happened over 2,000 years ago and know how much He loved us then and how much He loves us now.
UPDATE: Our in-person services at St Anne’s have resumed as of Sunday, October 4th. We hope those of you who have attended worship felt comfortable with all the protocols in place for our safety. We look forward to seeing you and your mask again on upcoming Sundays.
Moving ahead, given the numbers who have attended on Sundays, the wardens have decided that for the moment NO registration will be required for Sunday services at this time. This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and revisions made as needed. Some overflow space will be secured so that should our numbers exceed our capacity a few additional worshippers could be accommodated.
We continue to make online services available for all who are more comfortable staying at home, or who perhaps just want to hear the hymns sung.
All parish and community activities taking place at the parish hall are under review and must be approved by the wardens and rector.. Continue to pray for all those impacted by the virus and its ripple effect on work and home lives.
Please visit our Worship Services page to hear our latest worship service.
Our worship services consist of both traditional and contemporary language services in the Anglican tradition. Every first Sunday of the month at both our 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. service you may receive laying on of hands for healing. The rector, and commissioned pastoral care ministers of healing prayer are ready to pray with you and lay hands upon you as you ask for private prayers for yourself or those you name. Keith B. is commissioned for this ministry.
The 8:00 a.m. service is a traditional service of Holy Communion using the Book of Common Prayer.
Our 9:30 a.m. service will be Holy Communion from the Book of Alternate Services with Morning Prayer typically held on the third Sunday. A Parish Family Eucharist service is usually held the second Sunday of the month.
Only one 9:30 a.m. service will be held on the 5th Sunday of any month.
If you want to learn more about our annual cycle of worship and how it recognizes certain biblical events, please visit the seasonal links under the Faith & Worship menu. Use our Contact Us form to make suggestions that would be helpful in our common faith journey.
Parking for services
We would like to remind everyone that there is additional parking available at Byron Northview School (entrance on Stephen Street).
Monastic Wisdom for Everyday
So much of our stress and anxiety derives from our pollution of Time. God has given us the gift of time, and called it holy, yet we often experience time as a curse. Recapture time as a gift and discover how to experience the joy of the present moment.
Whether you feel a sense of having too little time for all the demands of life, or whether you feel lonely amidst too much time, God is calling you to connection. God wants us to use our time not just wisely, but sacredly, in order to thrive. No matter what stage of life we are in, God’s invitation is that we be intentional in how we use our time in order to discover the abundance of life God desires for each of us.
Consider this six-week journey of reflection offered by SSJE Brothers - https://www.ssje.org/time/ .
From Alpha to Omega – in a year! Bishop Linda’s challenge: Let's read the Bible in one year.
Let's read it every day! The Bible is at the heart of our faith, writes Bishop Linda in her message while challenging us to join her in an effort to read the entire biblical text in one year. "As we begin a new calendar year I pray that we will commit to reading the Bible - the whole Bible!" Join Bishop Linda in reading the Bible in ONE YEAR. Use THE BIBLE CHALLENGE as an outline: thebiblechallenge.org The website posts the scriptures daily and contains study guides for each book of the Bible.
Prayer...the world's greatest wireless connection...takes various forms at St. Anne's.
Reaching out in prayer Remember several years ago when Rev. Bill Harrison came and we wondered what Evangelism, Discipling, Outreach and Fundraising looked like at St. Anne’s? And didn't it feel good to realize that evangelism didn’t mean going door-to-door or standing on the street corner trying to convince others about God? We simply need to be ourselves and ask how we are going to share the good news of God’s healing love as part of our everyday activities.
Just as we each have our own way of sharing God's love with others, there are probably also many ways in which we pray. We pray in church and out of church, for our own concerns, our families and friends, and for the world and its troubles. James 5:16b (New Living Translation) says "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said “In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities." The Archbishop has invited people to join him in prayer specifically between Ascension and Pentecost (May 30 - June 9, 2019). He is simply asking people to pray in whatever way they want, with whoever they want and wherever they can, that others might know Jesus Christ. And there is no need to wait until next year so why not start now!
Loads of ideas are offered on the website www.thykingdomcome.global. Feel free to browse the site and consider the ideas that fit your life. A few of those ideas have been noted below, but the key is to simply start and make prayer a habit. \
- as spring buds start to show on the trees, think of members of your own family tree and pray for them to discover or rediscover the new life offered by Jesus
- use reminders to pray for five friends:
- write their names on five small stones and put them on a desk, in a basket or bowl or in any convenient place. Hold the stone in your hand as you pray for the person;
- tie five knots in a string and either wrap the string around your wrist or put in in a visible place;
- put post-it notes up where you will see them regularly;
- or add five names to your smartphone list of reminders;
- use Scrabble letters to name someone; jumble the letters to give you a new first initial and start another name
- go through a newspaper and pick out a few articles and pray for God's will to be done in those situations
- pray the Lord's Prayer – slowly
- when you go walking, pray for the people living in the houses or working in the businesses you pass. Ask God to show you what He sees and to know His heart for your community.
And as we are urged in 1 Timothy 2 (The Message) "The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live."
Bringing Holy Communion Into your Home
In Anglican church tradition, the rector may commission qualified laity to deliver the consecrated sacraments to those less mobile in hospitals or homes, Guidelines for such selection include the person being:
- a practicing church member of St.Anne’s, distinguished in the Christian life, faith and morals
- have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist
- demonstrating a deep reverence for and devotion to the Holy Eucharist
- been prepared and commissioned by the rector for this ministry
Lay people at St. Anne's are actively involved in the worship service and this short list below reflects some of those roles.
- Chancel Guild
- Lay readers and lay communion assistants
Interested in knowing more about these ministries? Send us your questions or contact information to find out more.
We believe that when we live the Gospel we find peace in our lives
We believe in the power of prayer
We believe that you, your children and all life are precious
We believe that we can help each other in times of grief, trouble or sorrow
We believe that in community we can work, laugh and offer each other joy.