Grace and peace to you. I give thanks to God for the opportunity to begin a new year serving as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church.
Advent, the first season of the church year, begins on December 2 and continues through the day before Christmas. The name is derived from a Latin word for “coming”. The Season of Advent is a time of preparation and expectation for the coming celebration of our Lord’s nativity, and for the final coming of Christ “in power and glory.” I look forward to celebrating my first Christmas Eve in Kentucky with you. The Christmas season lasts twelve days, from Christmas Day until January 5, the day before Epiphany, the manifestation of Christ to the peoples of the earth. The winter solstice was kept on January 6 at some places during the first centuries of the Christian Era. In opposition to pagan festivals, Christians chose this day to celebrate the various manifestations, or “epiphanies,” of Jesus’ divinity. These showings of his divinity included his birth, the coming of the Magi, his baptism, and the Wedding at Cana where he miraculously changed water into wine. As we move into the new church year, I will pray with you the words of William Temple, a leader in the ecumenical movement and in educational and labor reforms who served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1942 to 1944:
“Grant, O Lord, that as the years change, we may find rest in your eternal changelessness. May we meet this new year bravely, sure in the faith that, while men and women come and go, and life changes around us, you are ever the same, guiding us with your wisdom, and protecting us with your love; through our Savior Jesus Christ.”
-Fr. David Carletta