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  • Writer's pictureThe Rev. Matthew Wise

The Feast of Our Namesake

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of our namesake – St. Mark, the Evangelist. While we don’t know a great deal historically about St. Mark, we know from the bios, a Greco-Roman literary style meaning “a life”, that Mark and his community are credited with writing is the first of our four canonical Gospels written, and is one of the main sources for both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. 


This year’s Feast of St. Mark also holds our first official “visitation” from our new Bishop Diocesan, The Rt. Rev. Dr. David Read as part of the celebration. One of the roles and duties of bishops is to Confirm those who wish to make a public proclamation of their faith, who were likely baptized as infants, and had baptismal promises made on their behalf, and to Receive into The Episcopal Church those who have been members of other denominations. These sacramental rites can be traced back to the original Apostles who, in The Acts of the Apostles, laid their hands on and welcomed converts to the faith, which would eventually become Christianity. 


Liturgical Nerd Alert – in the Medieval Church, these rites included an act of exorcism wherein the Bishop might sprinkle salt on your tongue or even slap your face as a means to assist any evil in leaving your body! Thank goodness we don’t do that anymore! 


We also have one member of our beloved community who will be Re-Affirming her Baptismal Vows, a liturgical rite open to anyone who would like to do so each time the Bishop Visits. These are milestones of spiritual journey not only for the individuals themselves, but for our whole community in this Eastertide of new life, so we’ve combined the 9:00 and 11:15 am liturgies to bring as much of our community together as possible in one service at 10:00 am. We will still offer the more contemplative 7:45 am liturgy as well.


Because the Feast of St. Mark and our Bishop’s Visitation coincide with Fiesta this year, we’ve decided to extend the celebration, and “Therefore, let us keep the fiesta!” by throwing a party in Gosnell Hall. Immediately following the 10:00 am service, we will be treated to a deliciously and lovingly prepared Mexican Food feast and live music from Mariachis Las Alteñas. 


If you’ve been around St. Mark’s for even a short time, you’ll know that we take our fellowship and our food very seriously. And that’s as it should be. The practice of gathering together in the name of Christ to share our lives, joyfully celebrate, care for one another, and break bread together can also be traced back to the original Apostles and the formation of the early church. This is what we do, who we are, and who we’ve always been. Please come and join in the “Fiestivities” as we collectively remember WHO we are and WHOSE we are this Sunday beginning at 10:00 am.


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