The newest AIC video series, currently in production, “Gesima” Season, explains the name of the Church season that isn’t used as much as it once was. Even many Anglican jurisdictions have followed the lead of the Roman Catholic Church in eliminating the season. Those who worship using the venerable 1928 Book of Common Prayer still the pre-Lenten Sundays by their ancient names: Septuagesima Sunday, Sexagesima Sunday, and Quinquagesima Sunday. These three Sundays are intended to provide a transition between the celebratory tone of Epiphany, which honors the several “manifestations” of Jesus Christ to the world, and the penitential season of Lent, which, in the Western Church begins on Ash Wednesday. This year it falls on March 1st. I hope your local parish continues to honor the old traditions.
The series, in two episodes, will explain the history of the season and the meaning of the name, and the earliest and latest dates on which each Sunday can fall. Look for it to be completed before the end of February.
Meanwhile, I’ve been busy trying to get ahead with episodes in The Lives of the Saints – Second Series. The next episode honors St. Simeon of Jerusalem on February 18th. St Simeon is remembered for his dedicated, unwavering leadership of the See of Jerusalem for about a half century until his crucifixion around 107 A.D. during the reign of the Emperor Trajan.
The next episodes don’t appear until March, during which there are three celebrations: St. Thomas Aquinas (Mar. 8); St. Gregory the Great (Mar. 12); and ST. John Climacus (Mar. 30). I will illustrate the series with a collection of oil paintings, drawings on parchment, icons, statuary, altarpieces, and stained glass windows from both the Western Church and Eastern Church traditions.
A final note is just a reminder that the War on Christianity continues on nearly every continent. People continue to die, be burned out or otherwise driven out of their homes or churches, and, deprived of fair treatment by the courts both in Europe and the United States. Please remember these modern martyrs in your prayers.
As always, thanks for your interest and support. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!