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Nine Lessons and Carols: A Rookie Anglican Guide

The Anglican tradition has inherited many ancient pieces of liturgy, so it may be a bit surprising to learn that the Festival/Service of Nine Lessons and Carols (traditionally held on or near Christmas Eve) is a fairly recent invention, celebrating its one-hundredth birthday only last year in 2018. It was constructed out of the grief and horror of the First […]

By |2019-12-21T16:08:07-06:00December 21st, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |2 Comments

Here’s Why You Should Celebrate an Epiphany Festival

Anglicans often speak of the tradition of the 12 days of Christmas, emphasizing how the holiday is not merely one day but rather an extended season. The season spans from December 25 (or the evening of December 24) through January 5, and contains a number of nativity-oriented feast days along with separate saints’ days.

Many families and parishes already have their […]

By |2020-01-14T09:39:53-06:00December 18th, 2019|Categories: Church Year, Opinion|Tags: |2 Comments

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Ultimate Guide to Christmastide

Sure, you’ve heard the song, but did you know that the “12 days of Christmas” actually start on Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and go until the day before Epiphany (Jan. 5)? This mini-season of the Church calendar is also known as “Christmastide”!

So, December 25 is the first day of Christmas. December 26 is the second day. And so on, until […]

By |2020-12-26T18:16:23-06:00December 16th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |0 Comments

Let John Chrysostom Preach His Nativity Sermon the Sunday after Christmas

Several years ago, I served as the Assistant Rector at a large Anglican Church. This meant, of course, that I had the wonderful opportunity of preaching cultural holiday weekends when attendance would be predictably low … i.e. Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, etc.

One of the key weekends that I always got to preach was the First Sunday of Christmas. […]

By |2020-12-14T16:43:42-06:00December 13th, 2019|Categories: Church Year, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Saint Lucy’s Day: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Flickering candles, hot coffee, and saffron buns. This Scandinavian Advent tradition has its roots in the story of a 3rd-century martyr who brought light and aid to Christian saints in hiding.

(Note: To learn more about Advent and how to celebrate it at home with family and friends, read A Thrill of Hope: Celebrating Advent at Home by Ashley Wallace! […]

By |2020-10-27T10:37:37-05:00December 12th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Go to the Nearby Wilderness This Advent

In the middle of Advent, we encounter John the Baptist in the desert. In fact, every year, Anglicans devote half of Advent to the prophet of the wilderness, John the Baptist.

Yes, Lent is the most obvious wilderness season of the Church’s year—a full 40 days and then some to seek the Lord in the desert with prayer and […]

By |2020-10-27T10:11:30-05:00December 12th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: |0 Comments

What is Advent? (Excerpt from “A Thrill of Hope” by Ashley Wallace)

The following is an excerpt from A Thrill of Hope: Celebrating Advent at Home (Revised and Expanded for 2020) by Ashley Wallace.


What is Advent?

All of Scripture is a sacred love story, the love of God the Father for His people. It is a story filled with expectation, longing and fulfillment.

From the beginning, God has lovingly walked with us, called […]

By |2020-10-26T06:57:17-05:00November 29th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: |0 Comments

5 Practical Suggestions for Doing Advent Devotions with Your Children

I had an idea, and it was a great idea!

My family was going to do something new that year. Every night, we were going to sit down at the dining room table and do Advent devotions together.

I could already see how the night was going to go in […]

By |2020-10-27T10:30:24-05:00November 26th, 2019|Categories: Church Year, Daily Office & Prayer|Tags: , |2 Comments

Advent for Exiles: When the Holidays Aren’t Happy

The American Dream

In the American imagination, the “holiday season”—that stretch of weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas—is a magical one. It calls to mind beautifully decorated tables and the nearness of loved ones. It is shrouded in soft light and comes with the promise of fulfilled longing.

Whether we carry childish hope for the ultimate gift from Santa— like the horse I […]

By |2020-10-27T09:47:04-05:00November 25th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: |1 Comment

Try These 3 “Las Posadas” Recipes This Advent!

Want more Advent recipes, devotions, and traditions to try at home? Check out A Thrill of Hope: Celebrating Advent at Home (Revised and Expanded for 2020)!


Picture this. Every evening during the last nine days before Christmas, a great crowd forms in the village streets.

A small child dressed as an angel leads the figures of Joseph, Mary, and the donkey. […]

By |2020-10-27T10:32:23-05:00November 21st, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |1 Comment

My Top 4 Favorite Family Advent Traditions

Advent is one of my favorite seasons. As a person who did not grow up celebrating Advent, I have absolutely fallen in love with it. Advent is beautiful and holy and full of hope!

(If you’d like to read more why you should follow the Church calendar in your home this Advent, you can read my previous post here.)

At first, […]

By |2020-10-27T10:15:39-05:00November 11th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: |11 Comments

Why You Should Follow the Church Calendar with Your Family at Home This Advent

“For everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:10)—I am sure you know the verse well. We are all familiar with it, and yet it is so often misused.

People will often quote the verse in response to a bad thing that has happened or a hard time that you are going through. But if you look back at the verses in […]

By |2020-10-27T10:14:19-05:00November 6th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: |2 Comments

All Souls Day: A Rookie Anglican Guide to the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed

In our family’s first year as Anglicans, we accidentally celebrated All Saints Day (November 1) with the traditions more commonly associated with the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day, November 2)! This year, I’m looking forward to observing each day in its proper time and fashion!

(To learn more about

By |2020-12-17T15:45:04-06:00October 28th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , , |0 Comments

All Saints’ Day: A Rookie Anglican Guide

While the close of October is typically known for Halloween, its liturgical forerunner is All Hallows’ Eve (Oct. 31) followed by All Saints’ Day on November 1st.

Even though many saints of the church are remembered throughout the calendar year, All Saints’ provides a dedicated day to call to memory those saints who have led the way before us. We […]

By |2019-10-29T21:47:47-05:00October 21st, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , |0 Comments

Holy Michael and All Angels: A Rookie Anglican Guide to Michaelmas

Michael-what?

Michaelmas is a shortened form of “Michael’s Mass” (just like Christmas is a shortened form of Christ’s Mass). It is also known as the feast day of Holy (or “St.”) Michael and All Angels.

Celebrated similarly to Thanksgiving, Michaelmas conjures images of cool fall days, abundant harvests, and feasting. Festivities focus on the defeat of sin and Satan, often symbolized […]

By |2019-10-01T17:17:06-05:00September 28th, 2019|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |1 Comment

The Calendar of Saints: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Why do Anglicans celebrate “feast days” for various “saints”? After all, aren’t all Christians saints?

If you’re asking these questions, you’ve come to the right place!

Biblical Beginnings

Commemoration of saints has its roots in the Bible.

In 1 Cor. 11:1, St. Paul writes: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” From this we learn one of the most powerful means of […]

By |2019-10-01T17:17:09-05:00July 22nd, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

Ordinary Time: A Rookie Anglican Guide to the Season after Pentecost

The Church year revolves around two cycles:

  1. the Christmas cycle (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany)
  2. the Easter cycle (Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost)

But what about the rest of the year?

Well, there are two periods of the liturgical year that are called “ordinary time” that stitch together the […]

By |2019-10-01T17:17:11-05:00June 13th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , |3 Comments

Ember Days: A Rookie Anglican Guide

I don’t know about you, but when I first heard about “Ember Days,” I thought of a dying fire!

However, when I began my ordination process, I quickly found out that Ember Days are about ordination and Holy Orders, not about fireplaces.

What are Ember Days?

As […]

By |2019-10-01T17:17:12-05:00June 12th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , , |1 Comment

What They are Saying about Pentecost

“Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power.”

– J. Hudson Taylor

“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, […]

By |2019-06-07T13:10:56-05:00June 7th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , |1 Comment

Get Dirty: 3 Reasons Why We Should Observe Rogation Days

The sixth Sunday of Eastertide, known as Rogation Sunday, is a day that Anglican pastors should get dirt on their vestments. This is not only encouraged, it’s expected. The psalmist said ‘all flesh is like grass,’ so it’s good that the people of God walk along grass in worship and praise a few times a year.

Rogation Days are a […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:49-06:00May 24th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year, Liturgy & Worship, Opinion|Tags: |0 Comments

A Case of the Easter Mondays

Today is Easter Monday!

Yes, Easter is a 50 day season and today is the first weekday of that season. Each day of the week during the week after Easter is marked out for special emphasis.

Here’s the Collect for Easter Monday:

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with reverence the Paschal feast may be made worthy to attain […]

By |2019-04-21T16:47:22-05:00April 22nd, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , |2 Comments

The Great Fifty Days of Easter: A Rookie Anglican Guide to Eastertide

Easter Sunday is only the beginning!

A great fifty-day feast (known as “Eastertide,” “Easter Season,” or “Easter Time,” as well as “Paschaltide,” “Paschal Season,” or “Paschal Time”) kicks off on Easter Day. In the Church Year, this is quite literally fifty days of feasting.

Easter is the high point of the Church Year. So it makes sense that we would party […]

Easter Sunday: A Collect Reflection

There are actually two Collects for Easter Sunday

First,

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and […]

By |2019-06-27T10:50:44-05:00April 21st, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil: Gerald R. McDermott’s Collect Reflections

Holy Saturday

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy Saturday is one of […]

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