Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Project Red

It ran in text here some days back... but given the stakes, maybe the marching orders for this moment in the journey are worth actually hearing....


With the Pentecost Novena now at its halfway point, at its close, a certain "Birthday Sunday" custom is already familiar in many places... where it isn't, though, B16's newest appointee to the Stateside bench has offered his parishioners an advance encouragement for what to do come the weekend, and it's well worth sharing around:
It is difficult to come up with symbols for [Pentecost] – Easter has its lilies, the Easter Candle, sprinkling rites, and First Communion (in most places).

For those of us who are Confirmed, we have a memory of a Mass marking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us. Being open to the gifts of the Spirit at that moment strengthened us, brought us more deeply into the community of the Church. There was considerable preparation, family gathering, and most often the bishop or his vicar imposing the holy Chrism on our foreheads. That Chrism, an oil used in Baptism, Confirmation, and priestly Ordination is slightly aromatic. But the memory of that moment, so far in the past for many of us, can use its own sign each Pentecost.

My suggestion is to wear red on Pentecost. Red is the official liturgical color of the day. We have done it before, and it is a common practice in many places. On Pentecost Sunday, the color red does not remind us of the blood of martyrs so much as the fire of God’s love. Red can remind us of the sharing of so many gifts given to us for building faith and peace.... A red article of clothing (shirt, blouse, tie, etc.), a red umbrella, jacket or handbag. At any of next weekend’s Masses, consider to this as a sign of thanks for the Spirit in your own life, and as a sign of solidarity with others. It’ll create a nice ambience inside the church, and may get passing drivers to notice some enthusiasm.
And so, church, run with it... just take some time to seek that "new outpouring" first.