'Rose' Sunday signals closeness of Christmas

Sunday's 10 a.m. Mass at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Sedona observes the third Sunday in Advent, commonly called "Rose Sunday."

Given the name of "Rose" in response to the rose-colored vestments worn on this day, together with the Altar being adorned by roses, the day joyously anticipates the closeness of Christmas, and it's Christmas Eve 11 p.m. Mass and Christmas Day 10 a.m. Communion service.

Sunday's liturgy will include a sermon by the rector entitled "A Little John In All Of Us."

The sermon is based upon the collect, or prayer, of the day, in which the church petitions God to give the ministers and stewards of the faith the ability to "turn the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just."

The gospel reading of the day from the 11th chapter of Matthew will also be examined, in which Jesus speaks of and praises John the Baptist, saying he was "...more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."

The rector of the parish will celebrate Sunday's Mass and preach.

Sunday's hymns will include Charles Coffin's On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry, the eighth century Latin hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and J.S. Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.

St. Luke's is an Anglo-Catholic parish, part of the Continuing Church movement within the United States, and a member of the Anglican Diocese of Arizona.

Its bishop and rector is the Rt. Rev. David Gregory McMannes. The Rev. Mr. Kenneth V. Schwartz is the deacon emeritus, and John Loveland, David DuBois, and Mike Andrews are the assisting ministers at the Sunday celebrations.

St. Luke's is open weekdays for private prayer and meditation, and is located at the corner of State Route 179 and Meadowlark Drive in the Chapel area of Sedona.

It uses the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and serves orthodox Episcopalians throughout Northern Arizona.

For more information, telephone 282-7366. Information can also be obtained at the parish Web site, found at episcopalnet.org

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