On the mind of the Rev. Deacon Denise LaVetty

Feb 2, 2024

The longest, shortest month – gotta love February!

February can be a dreary month. Holiday cheer is in the distant past, winter drags on, there’s a melancholy. But, come on! February has lots of cool stuff! And maybe it worked out that way just to perk us up.

Take a look at our announcements about upcoming events and you’ll see there’s lots going on here at Incarnation – Candlemas, Fr. Nate’s forum on Black liberation theology, Mardi Gras night! But wait! There’s more!

February 2 is Ground Hog Day! Well here we go again. Who doesn’t like a day to celebrate the meteorological talents of a cute rodent? Yes, I’m sorry but the groundhog is a rodent.

It’s Black History Month. There’s a wonderful celebration of Absalom Jones (the first Black Episcopal priest) on Saturday, February 3, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

February 3 – Feast of St. Blaise! But you knew that already, right? When I was a child, growing up Roman Catholic, this was a pretty big event. So, here’s the deal. Blaise, Bishop of Sebastia in Armenia, miraculously healed a boy who was choking on a fish bone. Now this healing may have simply been a case of him whomping the kid on the back, a sort of medieval Heimlich, but this led to Blaise becoming the “Patron Saint of Throat Sufferers”. In my Roman Catholic grammar school, we would be marched from our classrooms on February 3, into church, to have our throats blessed by a priest who would cross two candles (unlit) under our chins. Sadly, Blaise couldn’t save his own neck as he was eventually gruesomely martyred.

February 10 – Our new Bishop Diocesan (yes, it’s said like that), Matthew Heyd, will be installed at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral! This will be a wonderful event and I hope to see many of you there.

Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day – Both are on February 14 this year! I have no idea what to say about that, other than remember that you are dust and that Jesus loves you.

President’s Day – One of my favorite holidays! There’s no cooking, shopping, or other obligations, just enjoy a day off in gloomy February.

February 29! – Haven’t seen THAT in four years! The old Roman calendar had only ten months, starting in March and ending with December (Latin for “the tenth month”). When the two winter months January and February were added, February became the last month of the year and was given 28 days to fit into the calendar. In the year 46 BCE, Julius Caesar introduced a new calendar system – the Julian calendar. He introduced what would become the leap year, where every fourth year, February had 29 days instead of 28, and the modern leap day came about.

So, there you have it. February is quite an eclectic month! And on top of that, we have much to be thankful for and much to celebrate. And I heard a rumor that we will be seeing some sunshine soon.

The inclination may be to hibernate, to hunker down and wait it out. But as with all our dark times, we must seek the light, seek the engagement and company of others, be there for them as they are there for us, seek the presence of the Living God through one another.

Deacon Denise