Yesterday was Reformation Sunday. Reformation Day proper is two days away. Today is the calendar-date anniversary of my ordination, but yesterday was the liturgical anniversary.
I was ordained on Reformation Sunday on purpose, for so many reasons. It's one of my favorite days. Aside from being in the best season of the year, it's also a good day of remembering. We Protestants remember where we came from, where we've been, and what it has cost to get where we are. We Reformed-always-being-Reformed types look ahead at all that needs to be reformed. I love the music, the remembering, the tartans, the bagpipes, the history. At heart I am Reformed, though I lean in other theological directions sometimes (process theology can be so seductive, after all). Though our history is bloody, I love the people and the confluence of historical events that made this all possible--the printing press, the ability to travel, the political climate, the decline of Latin, etc etc etc. It's so interesting! And deep inside, I think something very right has come out of it all, along with all the wrong things. Reformed and always being Reformed by the Word and Spirit of God.
I also chose Reformation Sunday because my mother died on Reformation Day, and I needed a way to redeem (in some sense) the date on the calendar. Though her body wasn't with us on that evening in a neo-gothic cathedral one year ago, I know her spirit was there. It was a wonderful evening filled with friends and food (I am my mother's daughter, after all!). It was a chance for both me and the date to be re-formed. And we have--there's been a lot of reformation in the past year.
And so I choose to remember my ordination anniversary as "Reformation Sunday" rather than "October 29" because, in this as in so many things, the liturgical marker is so much more important to me than the calendrical one. Time being cyclical (or perhaps spiral?), especially in the church, I love those markers. Even this one that marks division, because it also marks new beginnings, re-formings, re-creation.