Thursday, December 20, 2012

Liturgics Quiz

Okay, kids, put yout liturgical thinking caps on and tell me:  What's wrong with this picture?

(I'm not going to identify the source of the photo, except to say that it came in an e-mail from a religious institution--where they should have known better.) 

Submit your answer in the comment section.  


Free Range Anglican said...

Aaaaaargh! unspeakable!

Robert S. Munday said...

"Jah, das ist unaussprechlich," as a German might say. But what is wrong with it? Extra credit if you can guess where it came from. (Hint: it is NOT an institution where I have ever been employed.)

Unknown said...

The third candle lit on an Advent wreath is always the Rose Candle denoting Gaudete Sunday. On the third Sunday of Advent there has to be two purple and the rose candle lit!
Robert Rhea

Robert S. Munday said...

Good answer, Robert Rhea! Yes, with three candles lit for the third Sunday, the pink candle should be lit and one purple candle still unlit.

A pink candle that signifies joy is lit on the third Sunday of Advent--called Gaudete Sunday, taken from the Latin: “Rejoice (gaudete) in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice.” The joy is a reminder that even in the midst of penitential preparation for the coming of Christ, we are to rejoice for our Lord is near.

Since Advent is patterned in part after Lent, Gaudete Sunday is similar to the Lenten Laetare Sunday, which also represents joy and falls at the midpoint of Lent. Roman and Anglican custom calls for rose colored vestments (if available) to be worn on those Sundays, and a rose (pink) candle in the Advent wreath has the same significance.

I said that I would not mention the name of the institution that featured this photo in their mailing, but I can tell you that it is an Episcopal seminary that happens to be located in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Jill said...

Even at the local Evangelical Covenant Church (where we've been worshiping this year) they knew enough to light the rose-colored candle at the start of last Sunday's service, after lighting the two purple ones. (Some institution in Virginia has defintely lost hold of their traditions and gotten sloppy!)

Robert S. Munday said...

I blew the photograph up and looked at it carefully. It looks as though the Advent wreath may originally have had all four candles lit. And someone, for whatever reason (perhaps thinking it would make it right for Advent 3), cropped the flame and the top off the pink one. But the graphics designer chose the wrong candle to crop. At least that's my guess.

In any event, someone at that Episcopal seminary in Virginia, that, again, I will not mention by name, should have proofed the advertisement and caught this before it went out the door.

(I hope the Virginia folks don't mind my pulling their chain. ;-) All in good fun.

ericfromnewyork said...

While by far the strongest precedent lies with the Gaudete Sunday tradtion, there are many churches that save the rose candle for week four, linking the softening to a Marian emphasis. I actually grew up in such a church, though I do not follow that practice now.
Anyway, I agree that the photo looks clumsily doctored.