After the Eucharist I think that the thing that brings me back to the Episcopal Church every Sunday the most is the celebration of the liturgical year, and it was actually one of the things that made me initially interested in the church. Today was my first Pentecost as an almost Episcopalian. My priest had said in church last week that most people would wear red for Pentecost, and then he said that some of us might do something crazy, which I took as a challenge, or pretended to for the sake of a joke anyway.
So I dyed my hair bright red for Pentecost, and while I did it as a joke at first, it turned out to be meaningful for me because I would see the red and think about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit which means I’ll try out “liturgical hair” again (although I haven’t decided if I can bring myself to do the green for the next liturgical season, ha). Actually I tried to get it red the first time and it came out hot pink and I had to find a different red. Although it was done to be funny, it was significant because humanity often uses symbols to represent meaningful things, it’s why some of us are tattooed. For me it’s simply another way of worshiping and keeping my mind on things that matter. I find the celebration of the church year meaningful because it keeps my mind on all the different aspects of Christian belief and celebrating each of them equally.
I also wore my gothic dove choker because the dove is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I find that thinking about wearing red, or dying my hair, or putting on the dove choker is very beneficial. Symbols are so important; the church year and the liturgical colors representing the seasons and the colors we decorate the church in, it all helps focus my mind on God.
I get so caught up in day to day life that sometimes I don’t think about God a whole lot sometimes, so looking in the mirror and seeing the red hair reminds me of the Holy Spirit. The church year helps to focus my mind on all the things that make up the Christian faith; the different events that happened to create Christianity. It also helps to have different seasons so the focus can be on different experiences during the year, such as Advent being a time of expectation, and Lent being a time of repentance.
So today I walked into church with my dove choker and my bright red hair, and was handed a pin with a dove on it to put on my shirt. I immersed myself in the hymns and in the Bible readings and the prayers, all focused on the Holy Spirit and the events of Pentecost, the birth of the church. The birth of the church is an important part of the Christian faith. On the day of Pentecost, Christianity became open for all, it was an event where everyone heard the message of Jesus in their own language. The Holy Spirit came to us at Pentecost, and now all of us are welcome at the table without prejudice.