When I encountered a fuller church year in college, there were three new-to-me festivals that stood to me as accenting important theological themes with which I was previously unfamiliar: the Transfiguration, the Easter Vigil, and All Saints’. I had grown up in a fairly liturgical United Methodist church that followed the church year as detailed in the 1966 Methodist Hymnal. Our excellent youth choir program had even staged Allen Pote’s church-year-centered musical A Season to Celebrate. So Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter, Pentecost, and even Kingdomtide were feasts and seasons with which I was well familiar. But All Saints’ with its emphasis on the union of all in the mystical body of Christ was new to me. It became important and still is.
Thus, I was especially pleased last week when my colleague, Wen Reagan asked me to write an essay on it for the blog of Samford’s Center for Worship and the Arts. You can read it here.
In part of the essay I discuss a special ostrich egg pysanky that my wife Martha made nine-and-a-half years ago. Pictures of it are below.