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

What is Father Dan Thinking? 4-7-24


Last week was the church feast of Martin Luther King, Jr. While he his celebrated on the national holiday in January, marking his birth, it is the custom of the church to celebrate the saints on the date of their death, as that is when they are born into eternal life.

This photograph is of an icon displayed at my previous parish, Saint Paul’s in Flint, Michigan. The icon is written to depict Dr. King in jail, perhaps in the jail in Birmingham, Alabama, where he wrote his famous letter to liberal white clergy who cautioned him to go slow in his pursuit of justice.


Dr. King was assassinated, martyred, in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. Here is the collect for his day, as it is found in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, the Episcopal Church’s “lives of the saints” book:


“Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may strive to secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”


I placed this collect and photograph on our sidewalk bulletin board last week, including a note why April and not January.





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