November 24, 2013
Season’s Meanings: New Years: What’s In A Name We conclude our Season’s Meanings Series this week by exploring together the end-of-the-year celebration of New Year’s Day. The party actually begins the night before. For Christians who follow a liturgical calendar, today is the last Sunday in the year. Dec. 1 is the First Sunday of Advent – the first Sunday in the liturgical year. In recent years the last Sunday before Advent was called the Feast of Christ the King. (Some refer to it as the “Reign of Christ”, which begs the question: What’s in a name?)
The Babylonians are the earliest people known to celebrate “new years”. Other cultures and civilizations soon followed suit, albeit not on the same day. January 1 was set in the West for the celebration of the new year around 46 years before the birth of Christ. The month is named for the Roman god Janus – a deity with two faces. One face is traditionally depicted as an older person – he is the one looking back across time. The other face is younger, and is looking hopefully into the future.
In the Christian liturgical year, January 1 became know as the “Feast of the Circumcision”. Jewish tradition held that parents were to bring their sons to the temple eight days after their birth. Two things would happen: the child would be circumcised, and he would be named.
How important is your name to you? How do you feel when people call you by the wrong name … or when you refer to others by an incorrect name? New Years—we’ll explore today “What’s in a name?”
Morning Prayer: Canticle of Zechariah
Scriptures for Today: Exodus 3:13-5
Message: What’s In A Name?
Some of the music from today’s service: Tears in Heaven
Other related media:
Spelman’s Women’s Chorus – What You Gonna Call Your Pretty Little Baby
How does the chorus from Handel’s Messiah leave you feeling as you hear the list names for the Messiah? For Unto Us A Child Is Born
Rachmaninov – Praise the Name of the Lord
——————- Re-post of Mark’s Sermon for Thanksgiving – “Our National Eucharist“