Pastoral Notes 8th April, 2018

The Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is officially on 25th March, nine months before Christmas Day. In the Middle Ages 25th March was the new year’s day (it would have been 2017 for us up to then!). It was doubly the dawn of the new age, the coming of the Saviour. This year, the feast of the Annunciation has had to be transferred to this Monday, 9th April, to avoid any clash with Holy Week and Easter Week.
During the Easter season we have the daily Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, an outline of the growth of the Church from Jerusalem to Rome, and so to the ends of the earth. There is still the tradition in eastern parts of the Church of a Deacon singing/chanting the whole of the Acts of the Apostles, in an otherwise empty church, on Holy Saturday, as a prelude to the Easter Vigil. Singing is an essential part of the Deacon’s role in some parts. Elsewhere deacons may be grateful that they have other more onerous duties!