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This Sunday at St. Paul’s You’re Invited to Experience the Joy of Being Welcomed Home

March 8, 2013

March 10 is a special Sunday of celebration at St. Paul’s. It’s the mid-point of Lent, a time of joy in the middle of the more subdued tome of the Lenten Season (we see this pattern repeated in the mid-point of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, and the mid-point of Holy Week, Maundy Thursday). Indeed, one name for this Fourth Sunday in Lent is Laetare Sunday, from the Introit of the Mass, “Laetare Jerusalem” (“O be joyful, Jerusalem,” taken from Isaiah 66:10). Another name for this day is Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday was, in effect, the first statutory holiday in England – a day domestic servants were given to visit their families, and with them, to come and worship at their mother church. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together. So this Sunday is a day of the refreshment and celebration that come from coming home.


With this theme of the joy of homecoming, it’s hugely appropriate that our Gospel Reading for this Sunday is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. We’ll reflect together on the joy of being welcomed home into God’s arms and held close to God’s heart. (Rembrandt’s famous painting, “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” is pictured above. It’s on our Order of Service cover.)


We’ll end our Services singing “Amazing Grace,” and sharing the ancient practice of “clipping the church” (This is pictured above in a painting from 1848, and in the second video embedded below), as a symbol of our desire to share this welcoming grace of God with everyone. (Don’t worry, we’ll make an Albertan adaption to this custom and “clip the church” inside where it’s warm and snow-free!) After both Services, we’ll enjoy fellowship while eating traditional simnel cakes, such as the one pictured below (note the 12 almonds, representing the 12 apostles). Thank you, Iona Shaw, for making this cake, which we’ll eat after the 8:30 Service!

If you’d like information about Mothering Sunday, including Church Clipping and Simnel Cakes, you can click on and then type in as your email address stpaulscalgary, and type in as your password God’s Grace, to access the following three documents: “0045. Mothering Sunday Information,” “0046. Clipping the Church,” and “0047. Church Clipping.”

One important reminder: this Sunday is also the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, so at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, we “Spring ahead” to 3 a.m. Please spread the word about this, as we don’t want anyone to miss the celebation!

From → All Posts, Music

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