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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel S.J. Scheid SCP

What is Father Dan Thinking? 1-28-24

One could be forgiven for thinking that, once the twelve days of Christmas are over, and the feast of the Epiphany concludes, the priest’s workload is a breeze until Lent. Alas, January is a month replete with administrative tasks. There’s the Parochial Report that’s due to the Diocesan and Episcopal Church offices; the Annual Report that you receive at our annual congregational meeting; the preparation for the annual vestry retreat, which is the Saturday after the annual meeting; and, of course, preparation for Ash Wednesday and Lent, which begin on the early side this year. Ain’t no rest for the wicked, as the saying goes …


Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is February 14 (yes, that’s St. Valentine’s Day, too – but the church long ago stopped counting that one; it’s more of a “Hallmark holiday” or, as bartenders and waitstaff like to say “amateur night”). We’ll offer three times for you to come to church on Ash Wednesday: morning, midday, and evening (I’ll post the exact times very soon). Lent itself is a 40-day observance, with Sundays exempt from the count, as Sundays always are marked as the day of the Lord’s resurrection.


Today is Septuagesima Sunday. The “gesima” Sundays, each with their quirky Latinate prefixes, point particularly toward Easter, even before Lent begins. Today, and the next two Sundays, are (roughly) the 70th, 60th, and 50th days before Easter. Easter is so important that we take great care not to lose sight of it, even amid administrative affairs and Lenten preparations.


I pray that in the busyness of your lives, you never lose sight of Easter. I ask your same prayers for me.


God’s blessings and peace,




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