This year, the secular calendar and the Church calendar intersect in two interesting ways. The first is this coming Wednesday, February 14. On the secular calendar, it is Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate romance (although this holiday was originally the date set on the Roman Catholic calendar for the Feast of St. Valentine, a 3rd century Roman martyr). On our Church calendar, it is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent.
This year, we will celebrate romance a little early, with a special Valentine’s blessing of couples at all services this weekend. On Ash Wednesday, we will celebrate three services that will include Holy Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes (see inside the bulletin for schedule details). At our 12 noon Ash Wednesday service, we will welcome the Rt. Rev. James Ottley, retired Bishop of Panama and former Anglican Observer to the UN, as our guest preacher and principal celebrant. We hope that you will join us as we begin “the observance of a holy Lent.” [BCP 265]
I encourage you to check out our special section on Lent inside this bulletin in the Acts of St. Paul’s. As you will see, there are a multitude of programs and offerings that will enrich your Lenten journey.
By the way, the second interesting intersection of this year’s secular and Church calendars is April 1, which we will joyfully celebrate this year as Easter Sunday, no fooling!