Labor Day weekend is upon us. This fine national holiday, which ceremonially marks the end of the summer season, offers to many a bit of rest and refreshment. Since moving to Colorado in 2012, I've had the impression that we Coloradans particularly revel in Labor Day. We work hard, and we play hard, as the saying goes. Many will flock to the mountains to enjoy the crisp, fresh air. Many will take advantage of a much deserved and needed break just to take a breather. Many will enjoy some extra time with family and friends. This is a civilized holiday, which honors the American worker, regardless of station in life. A quick Internet search gives a concise explanation of Labor Day:
"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
Even as many pause for a rest, I am reminded of the great church hymn, Ora et Labora, or, "Come, Labor On." We will sing it together this Sunday, and the music and opening verse always gives me goose bumps:
"Come labor on. Who dares stand idle on the harvest plain, while all around us waves the golden grain? And to each servant does the Master say, 'Go work today.'"
We pause as a nation to rest, but moreover, to honor our collective and common labor, which makes our nation strong. But beyond the temporal world in which we live, as Christians, we are also reminded of the labor
...of the work of God in each of our lives. Even as we work, even as we take our rest, and even as life's many difficulties and distractions can threaten to overwhelm us, we remember that God is always at work in our lives.
God's work in our lives is mysterious and profound. We see it wh
en give thanks for the love of friend, family, neighbor. We see it in the har
d work of forgiveness. We see it in the glory of creation. We see the work of God, which never ceases, as we grow daily in our lives of prayer, and worship, and faith. And we see it in acts of mercy and service to those who are most in need.
Enjoy this Labor Day weekend. Give thanks for what you have been given, and for those who love you. Give thanks for our common life and labor together. Worship our Lord Jesus Christ on Sunday wherever you find yourself. And remember that the work of God is always present in each of us, every single day.
A fellow laborer in the vineyard,
Some Prayers For Labor Day
O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other's toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, Pg. 134
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our
heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove
ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and
pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend
our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes
brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue
with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust
the authority of government, that there may be justice and
peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we
may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, Pg. 820
Almighty God, we thank you for making the earth fruitful, so
that it might produce what is needed for life: Bless those who
work in the fields; give us seasonable weather; and grant that
we may all share the fruits for the earth, rejoicing in your
goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, Pg. 824
O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges, and universities, that they may be lively centers for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, Pg. 824
O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of
refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our
leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our
spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, Pg. 825
Music with Dan Romero
Happy late Summer!
I hope that all of you have had a good summer so far. As the end of summer is fast approaching, the music program has events and opportunities in the months to come.
Ascension Parish Choir
The Parish Choir will begin having regular rehearsals on Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning on September 8. The Parish choir is the primary musical ensemble at Ascension that sings for the 10:00 a.m. mass every Sunday September 11 to June 4, 2017, as well as important holydays throughout the year.
The Parish Choir is a group of volunteer amateur singers who are sometimes augmented with professional singers. No prior musical experience is necessary. In fact only about have of the people currently in the choir read music, or have studied music formally.