Sunday, September 1, 2013

The beginning of the liturgical year

Today we celebrated Indiction, which is the first day of the Orthodox church's liturgical year. It is also the feast of St. Symeon Stylites, one of the great stylites of the church.  Stylites are anchorites on a pillar, basically.

The designation of the 1st of September is a somewhat arbitrary beginning of the liturgical year, but it fits nicely into the chronological narrative of Christ's life.  The last great feast celebrated was the Dormition of the Theotokos, on August 15, and the next feast is the nativity of the Theotokos, and these feasts bookend the chronological story of Christ's life.  September 1 roughly coordinates also with the lunar calendar of the Judean kingdom, and the Roman calendar of some of the provinces, although in Rome, the new year began on the Kalends of Januarius.

So today we sang many hymns and said many prayers asking God to bless the coming year, and we read from the Gospels when Christ read from the prophecy of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth.  The prophecy concerned the acceptable year of the Lord being made manifest in Judea; let this year be for each of us the acceptable year of the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. September has NOTHING to do with the harvest. No. Nothing.