Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Feasts in June

June begins with two very important Holy Days, as the Queen of Seasons, Easter, reaches its glorious conclusion. The whole of the great Fifty Days of Eastertide form a single festival period, in which a tone of joy and thanksgiving is sustained.

Ascension Day is the fortieth Day of Easter. The Lord commissions his disciples to continue his work, he promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, and then he is no longer among them in the flesh. The Ascension is therefore closely connected with the theme of mission. The arrival of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost completes and crowns the Easter Festival.

Following the day of Pentecost, Ordinary Time, or the Season of the Year, resumes. The first Sunday of this period which will take us right through to the eve of All Saints is Trinity Sunday. The following Thursday is a particular day of Thanksgiving for the Holy Eucharist, Corpus Christi, celebrated with a Procession of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The principal Commemorations of the Saints in June include the Apostle Barnabas (June 11th), the Birth of S John the Baptist (June 24th) and the Apostles Peter and Paul, (June 29th), together with two others who ought perhaps to be better known in our Nation, S.Columba of Iona, (June 9th), and S.Alban, the first martyr of these islands, (June 22nd).

Some Prayers attributed to St Columba

Be Lord Jesus, a bright flame before me,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me:
today, tonight, and forever

Kindle, O Lord, in our hearts, we pray,
the flame of love which never ceases,
that it may burn in us and give light to others.
May we shine forever in your temple,
set on fire with that eternal light of yours
which puts flight to
the darkness of this world;
in the name of Jesus Christ,
your Son, our Lord.