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First day of summer

First day of summer

Today is the summer solstice: the longest day of the year and the first official day of summer.

(BTW: It will be very apparent that summer is here to those with me in the Northeast…)

So in the spirit of summer (and for a moment forgetting about the upcoming General Convention), what are some of the special “summer moments” upcoming in the lives of Episcopalians? Old traditions? New innovations? Or just summer fun?

To get everyone started, here is the New York Times reporting on the “Blessing of the Bees”:

On Tuesday morning, witnesses to a ceremony at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine were encouraged to wear long sleeves, long pants and socks. The subjects of this holy event were about 15,000 honeybees that live on the church’s campus in Morningside Heights.

This year’s unusually busy swarm season in New York City has attracted some unwanted attention to the hardworking insect, but Tuesday’s event provided it with some good publicity.

Moments before the Rev. Mark S. Sisk, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, began the brief ceremony, puffs of pine smoke wafted through the air to sedate the bees.

The bishop opened his red leather Bible and recited a prayer he had written for the occasion:

“As we gather to bless these bees, your own well-blest creatures, may the intensity of their self-offering lives awaken in us a reminder of the fruitfulness that such self-offering promises to yield in our own human community. May their vulnerability remind us both of our duty to them and of the vulnerability that touches all things. May the sweetness of their honey remind us of the sweetness of your love for them, for us, for all people, and of the bending infinity of Creation itself.”

And with a wave of some freshly picked leaves dipped in holy water and a sign of the cross, Bishop Sisk blessed the hive that took up residence on the grounds last month.


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But can we still sing “In the Bleak Midwinter” for Christmas, BrotherTom? 😉

JC Fisher

I know, I know: the enrollment Joseph&Mary registered at in Bethlehem was thought to have been in the Spring.

Chris Capaldo

I honestly mean no offense Brother Tom, but this is just a nice friendly article that welcomes summer by talking about a bee blessing. By not really saying anything about the article itself, but harping on the fact that they said “Summer Solstice” instead of “June Solstice” (Something that I trust has driven tens upon tens of people away from the church Catholic!) Just sort of gives credibility to the stereotype that we’re a church full of angry old hippies that are convinced a church front labyrinth/zen garden, cheesy vaguely Taize-ish 70’s songs, and liturgically dancing out the Millennium Development Goals is our church’s prime commission and the cure for a dying church and faith, and honestly makes us seem just that much more irrelevant in a church and world that are facing so many other greater problems.

BrotherTom Hudson

Today is the “June solstice.” It is not the “summer solstice” for half of the earth–it is actually the first day of winter for them. I think we need to be aware that there is more to the world than the Northern Hemisphere and stop giving credibility to accusations of colonialism.

Vicki Zust

Christ Church in Springfield, Ohio does Christmas in July – they use the Christmas propers sing carols, have Christmas cookies at coffee hour and collect gifts for local shelters – I got to go once years ago – It’s fun and helps out others too

Vicki Zust

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