I wrote this in an email conversation with a parishioner. I was also reminded today that my interest in the liturgical year (the cycle of seasons in the church that begins with Advent and moves through Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time) is also a response to the perennial philosophical question about how people try to find the truth.
Yes, I’ve become the biggest advocate around for the liturgical year, to my surprise. Here’s the basic theory: we too easily think that there must be ‘a right answer’ out there that must dominate; or, when we tire of the search for the right answer, we give up and think that all that people have are a bunch of opinions. The liturgical year shows us that God’s truth takes on many different appearances–consider how different are Good Friday and Easter Sunday! While the liturgical year presents us with no one right answer, it gives us as a community a coherent map for exploring all of those different appearances of God together. It’s just what we need: a solid, shared sense of truth that is not narrow, but rather multifaceted.