Readings and stuff for Sunday (Oct 31)
This Sunday is Halloween, or, more properly, the Eve of All Saints' Day. All Saints' Day always falls on November 1st. It's what the Church calls an "immovable" feast day, meaning simply that it always falls on the same date, no matter what day of the week it is. Christmas is another immovable feast day in the Church calendar because it always falls on the 25th of December. The only other one is Epiphany which always falls on January 6.
Some parishes have a tradition of holding services on All Saints' Day, but most parishes wait until the Sunday following to commemorate the saints. That's what we do here at St. James'
So, on November 7th we will be celebrating All Saints' Sunday.
The other great category of feast days are called "movable feasts", and are celebrated on different dates. All the movable feasts of the Church depend on the date of Easter Sunday. Easter Day is always the first Sunday after the full moon that falls on or after March 21. Easter Day cannot occur before March 22 or after April 25.
The formula for finding the date of Easter is so that it can be tied to the astronomical equinox. The complicated formula for finding Easter Sunday can be found in the Prayer Book on page 880. It involves finding the "golden number, and then finding the "Sunday letter". Or you can just look it up on the calendar like I do.
Once you've located Easter Day, the other major feasts and festivals are sort of "plugged in". Ash Wednesday is 40 days before Easter, and Pentecost is 50 days after it.
The Church fathers wanted to connect Easter with the movements of the very cosmos, and that's why it varies so much.
Anyway, all of this was to explain why we're celebrating All Saints' Day almost a full week after it's appearance on the calendar.
Thank you and God bless your ministries among us.