I still remember my first Easter at my current church. In the lead up to that glorious day, we stopped singing the Gloria in Excelsis for Lent. As we drew closer to Good Friday, we stopped singing even more of the songs in the liturgy. Then, on Easter Sunday, after the pastor chanted “Glory be to God on high,” the entire congregation burst forth with “and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” like the music of the angels accompanied by an organ. The return of the Gloria provided great joy that Easter Sunday.
To mark the first day of Lent, we’re sharing an excerpt from Heaven on Earth in which Arthur Just describes the theological accents in the season of Lent.
“Repetition is the mother of all learning.”
This is a common saying, especially in education. The exhortation to repeat, repeat, repeat hopefully is prevalent in our Lutheran schools. Only through repetition does one learn and retain something. You are only reading this right now because someone drilled you on your ABCs and phonograms. In music, we drill note names and scales and rhythms.
After the festivals of Pentecost and the Holy Trinity, the Church begins its longest yet perhaps least-celebrated season of the Church Year: the season after Pentecost. What comes at the end of the post-Pentecost calendar is not one of the Church’s grand festivals, but rather, a reminder that the end times are near. In this way, the season after Pentecost reflects the Church’s life as faithful members in Christ.