words & seasons

The lay team met for training today, having escaped having to do an assignment because of the complexity of schedules.  So, it was an on the spot task:  How does the liturgical year relate to preaching?

We started with a simple word-association game — writing down key words & themes for each season.  Then we shared what we had written, adding words, clarifying, questioning ‘why did you put that there?’

It was fascinating.  There was lots of overlap, as you would expect; but there were real differences too.  So, for example,  where would you put ‘Kingdom’ as a theme?  I put it in Advent:  already and not-yet, vision of a world transformed.  Isaiah, ox and lamb.  It’s there with themes of Justice, restoration, non-violence.

However, the group ‘forgot’ the justice theme for Advent, and had Kingdom listed just about everywhere else: under Christmas (Kingdom come), Easter (‘resurrection shows what the Kingdom is like’), Pentecost (‘living it out’) and the Green Season (on the theory that Christ the King ends the reign of green).  For the first time, I saw sense in naming November as ‘The Kingdom Season’.  At least it locks it down.

Lent came in heavy on penitence and cleansing, with a fair dose of journeying and introversion; but healing and forgiveness were curiously absent. When I said ‘Lent: healing’, someone argued that we had to wait for Easter for that.  She did not convince me; but in a few words, the difference in our theologies was clearly exposed.

It’s a game worth playing the next time you find yourself with a handful of piskies and a half an hour to spare. In the meantime, I offer you these for the seasonal sorting-hat:

  1. mystery
  2. humility-splendour
  3. pain-of-God
  4. eternity in time
  5. chocolate
  6. growth
  7. blinded by light
  8. humanness
  9. transformation
  10. ‘gloomy’  (surely not, I cried in horror.  Gloomy never goes with God.)

10 thoughts on “words & seasons”

  1. This is a fun game!!

    1. mystery – Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter (oh, all the time really)
    2. humility-splendour (Christmas)
    3. pain-of-God (Lent, Holy Week, Christmas [Holy Innocents at least], Pentecost
    4. eternity in time (Advent, Pentecost/Green/Ordinary Time)
    5. chocolate (Christmas, Easter)
    6. growth (Advent, Lent, Easter, Pentecost)
    7. blinded by light (Epiphany, Pentecost)
    8. humanness (Christmas, Lent)
    9. transformation (Pentecost, Epiphany)
    10. ‘gloomy’ (surely not, I cried in horror. Gloomy never goes with God.) Ash Wednesday (in a good way, sometimes I like rainy days)

    Hmm. Clearly I have a hard time distinguishing between seasons or there are somethings I just want to have/think about all the time. And I don’t think I know what to do with Ordinary Time, Green Season, Endless Pentecost (the dog days of Pentecost is what a former rector of mine called the autumn)

  2. one of the things we talked about it that most themes could be justified in most seasons, but the question (for preachers’ training) was where was each theme most in focus.

    love seeing answers. For me Ash Wednesday is austere (clean and hard) rather than gloomy (grey mush). Though admittedly, blend the ash incorrectly and grey mush does feature.

  3. 1. mystery – Advent, Christmas, Lent, Good Friday, Easter (or as Elizabeth says, all the time, really)
    2. humility-splendour – Advent, Christmas, Easter
    3. pain-of-God – Advent, Lent, Good Friday
    4. eternity in time – Pentecost/Ordinary Time
    5. chocolate – Advent, Christmas, Easter (or lack of chocolate during Lent)
    6. growth – Lent, Advent
    7. blinded by light – Pentecost
    8. humanness – Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Good Friday
    9. transformation – Easter
    10. ‘gloomy’ – hmmmmm….

  4. 1. mystery Corpus Christi

    2. humility-splendour Christmas and Easter

    3. pain-of-God Holy Week

    4. eternity in time Maundy Thursday (and arguably Sundays after Easter with the Emmaeus story etc.)

    5. chocolate Shrove Tuesday

    6. growth Sundays after Trinity

    7. blinded by light Conversion of St Paul

    8. humanness Christmas and Epiphany

    9. transformation Easter and Pentecost

    10. ‘gloomy’ (surely not, I cried in horror. Gloomy never goes with God.) Remembrance Sunday

  5. Okay! I play again! (this is so much fun, can we have more words Kimberley?

    1. mystery – Advent / Vigil of Easter/Trinity (I CAN’T be specific with this one . . . really can’t)
    2. humility-splendour (Christmas)
    3. pain-of-God (Holy Innocents)
    4. eternity in time (Pentecost) Although I’m v. persuaded by Rosemary’s Maundy Thursday
    5. chocolate (Christmas)
    6. growth (Pentecost/Ordinary Time)
    7. blinded by light (Epiphany)
    8. humanness (Ash Wednesday / All Souls / Good Friday) Am having a hard time with this one too . . .
    9. transformation (Pentecost)
    10. ‘gloomy’ (surely not, I cried in horror. Gloomy never goes with God.) I think I agree with you about Ash Wednesday Kimberley, I was just trying to put a positive spin on gloomy. How about ‘Mothering Sunday’? (runs for cover)

  6. ‘gloomy’ is now getting naughty.

    And that makes me realise I forgot the obvious:

    10. ‘gloomy’ — celebrating the prayer book eucharist (especially at 10am on a Saturday, all through my curacy)

    Rosemary, you realise you’ve written my Maundy Thursday sermon for me, don’t you?

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