April 28, 2019
The Sunday after Easter is sometimes called, “Low Sunday.” If you think that’s odd, be glad that you are not Eastern Orthodox, where the Sunday after Easter is known as “Quasimodogeniti.” The name is taken from the first words of the introit, set for the day, in Latin. “Quasi modo” means “as in this manner,’ and is taken from I Peter 2:2. So, there you have it! It makes me glad to be a Presbyterian; I’m sure I couldn’t even pronounce some of the liturgical names used in other traditions.
I can manage to pronounce “Low,” you’ll be glad to hear; though even that is thought to be a corruption of “Laudes,” from the first word of the Latin rite. Other authorities claim that the Sunday is “low” only in contrast to the high festival of Easter, which it follows. There are plenty of cynics out there who suggest that the name refers to the attendance! After the Easter highs, we have a low Sunday!
Reformed Christians don’t tend to pay a great deal of attention to the liturgical year. Calvin embraced the tradition of preaching through sequential texts as the main focus of worship. He wasn’t interested in special dates or saints’ days. As a result, many Presbyterians don’t bother with either Advent or Lent. I think there’s a happy medium. We can follow the Christian year as long as it serves our purposes; but we should not become slaves to it. Worship is really about deepening our relationship with the living God. Every Sunday, we have the privilege of gathering together to praise our great Redeemer. There’s nothing “low” about that.