Monday, October 29, 2007


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.


  1. I did think of you on Sunday - actually thought of you several times recently in regard to the anniversary of your ordination, your mother's death and your birthday. You are always in my prayers.

    This post is so YOU - so eloquent, playful, serious and thoughtful all at once. And I am a bit jealous as we did not refer to Sunday as Reformation Sunday one jot or tittle - it was a poorly put together "sing thru the liturgical year" with only one corporate prayer that we said together, NO PRAYER OF CONFESSION and a baptism done w/o reading of Scripture or sermon (allright, they did do sentences of Scripture from the Great Commission as part of the baptism liturgy but COME ON FOLKS. Can you tell I had issues with it?)

    Grace and peace in year 2 of ordination and beyond, my friend!

  2. Teri,

    That's beautiful! My ordination date has a history, too. April 11 was my parents' wedding anniversary. The following year, I was baptized on April 11 (which that year happened to be Easter Sunday), and 13 years later, I was confirmed -- yes, on April 11. So, of course, I had to be ordained on April 11 -- which was a Tuesday that year. Before I picked the day, I talked to my mom about it, to see if she was okay with it -- my dad died when I wasn't even two years old. We too talked about it as a way to reclaim the day as being one of hope more so than one of bittersweet memories.

    God Bless!