Published by Tim Cockell on Sun, 31 Oct 2021 16:13

November is a very important month for Remembering. It starts with All Saints Day when we can remember those Christian men and women, many of whom were persecuted and suffered because of their faith, where we have the grace of God so powerfully at work in their lives.  

Along with the Saints we also remember men and women who have been great teachers and pioneers. November 3rd Richard Hooker, who I’m ashamed to say I had not heard of until I went to theological college. He was one of the most important, and if not unquestionably the greatest Anglican theologian of the sixteenth century. Hooker defended the Church of England against both Roman Catholicism and Puritanism. We also remember during this month William Temple associated with Rugby School and Archbishop of Canterbury, and there are our leading teachers of the faith and social reformers.

Of course November is also the month when we remember the dead of the two World Wars and other conflicts, where men and women have lost their lives fighting for their country, against tyranny and oppression, to bring freedom. In November not only is it a time to remember those who have died in war and conflict but also to remember our own recent personal loss. Those we have loved, those who have nurtured us into life and faith, and are with us no more. We shall be holding our Service of Memory in church to give opportunity for us to remember, knowing that in our loss we are nurtured and held by God as we feel the hurt of passing loved ones. 

November is also the month when you will notice the liturgical colour change in Church. For so long now we have had the colour green gracing our altars and stoles worn, but now we change to the colour red. The change to red also reflects the changing colours of the seasons as we well and truly leave summer behind and move through Autumn to Winter. Red is reflected in  the beautiful changing colours of nature. I think Autumn is a beautiful season. We have those misty dewy mornings with the sun trying to pierce through the gloom and on sunny days the long fingers of the rays of the sun give us beautiful afternoons. A season of coats and thick jumpers, of walks, mugs of hot chocolate, and the watching of nature prepare itself for the approaching winter.

So the church in red celebrates the Kingdom season. It is a season that brings to an end the Church’s liturgical year, ending on the Sunday before Advent with the feast of Christ the King. The Church’s year then begins again with Advent. The kingdom season focuses our mind on the reign of Christ the King.

It reminds me of my favourite hymn; Christ Triumphant, ever reigning, Saviour, Master, King! Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining, hear us as we sing:

The Kingdom season means we can focus on Christ who through our faith, through our prayer, study, service, should indeed reign in our lives, being the reason and centre of all we do. It is in Christ that we have hope as we remember, sometimes with a sad and heavy heart, that those who have gone before us are now at peace and in the care and love of God. 

Glenn

Categories Word from the Clergy