In Aotearoa New Zealand, the Anglican Missions Board has just sent out its annual wall planner (Draft – you can enlarge this by clicking on this link and on the image that opens.). Some observations:
- It celebrates the Annunciation in Holy Week. That is very unusual in Western practice. And forbidden by our church (Liturgical Precedence rules). The Anglican Church of Or, however, is well known for breaking our own confused and confusing regulations.
- They Sundayise the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Very Church of England. It makes sense to have lots of different celebrations in the cold and dark of English winter and to extend a season until early February. Does that work when most of Aotearoa New Zealand shuts down and goes and lies on the beach and even churches go into skeleton mode? What do you call the next season, between the Presentation and Lent? Even this calendar can’t work that out and so leaves the Sunday title – blank!
- Are the term dates that of Anglican schools or of secular schools?
- Lent 5 is called “Passion Sunday”. Again – yes, … it is an option. Very 2-Year-cycle-of-readings (does anyone still use that? Yes – I know some still do) but for most of us, we read the Passion on Lent 6. Lent 6, rather than Lent 5, is Passion Sunday.
- What happened to Wednesday in Easter Week? And Thursday…
- What has happened to all the Sunday titles from June 9 onwards? They are just blank. The Three Year Sunday readings approach is now pretty universal/normative, and Sundays IMO should be named in Ordinary Time accordingly.
ps. I am not making these comments behind the Missions Board back. They sent me the draft for comment, and I made all the above points. There was one other I made that you can see was altered from the draft: that had “Easter Sunday” rather than “Easter Day”.
pps. Speaking of calendar points: Those following the Anglican Consultative Council will have noticed that the opening Eucharist, bizarrely abandoned our regular, systematic readings and celebrated the Feast of Simon and Jude instead. (Yes, of course it is allowed in the Anglican Church of Or – but why do it? They are not the patrons of that cathedral). One can only presume that the Archbishop of Canterbury, as one of his last acts, was handing our province and/or the Communion over to this patronage – patron of desperate cases and lost causes!