Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trinity Sunday and a Variety of Arts

Today we're launched back into Ordinary Time. I'm old enough to remember when the season of Ordinary Time wasn't called Ordinary Time or the xx Sunday after Pentecost, but instead, the season of Trinity--or as I called it, as a child, the long, boring, Green season.

I've always been part of Lutheran churches which observed various liturgical traditions, including the changing of the paraments. In the church of my childhood, once the green went up in May, it never changed. Some churches have a variety of green paraments and stoles which get switched around periodically, but that's not my childhood memory.

I remember being young and bored, bored, BORED in church. I'd sing the wrong verse of each hymn to amuse myself. I'd sketch on the bulletin. I'd look at the adults and hope that I would never end up wrinkled. I'd ask permission to go to the bathroom, and I'd dawdle as long as I could.

Now I'm in awe of my parents, who insisted that we'd be at church if the doors were open. I don't know that they stood up to the whining of their children; I might have caved in and just skipped church, going immediately to the donuts that we often got after church on our way home.

Now, when I think back to that season of Trinity, I also remember those weeks of Vacation Bible School, back in the olden days, when we had VBS during the daytime, when it wasn't one more thing we tried to cram into our after-work schedule.

And now, I'm in awe of the variety of stoles and vestments that exist. In the 70's, as we went on vacation and even then, went to church, it seemed that every church and pastor got their liturgical fibers from the same place.

Now, there are liturgical arts companies with a wide variety of stoles and vestments (see this website, for example, or this one). Now, many churches make an effort to give Ordinary Time its due. Now, many VBS sessions close with the children in charge of the worship. Now, Ordinary Time seems almost as precious as the high holiday festivals. It's a relief, after the relentless pace between Advent and Pentecost, to slow down, to stop, to ponder the regular.

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