Archive for the ‘celebration’ Category
For those of us who value the beauty of this season, even when faced with perceived indifference or hostility toward it, we pray for grace
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
– Proverbs 4:23
December’s gifts–custom, ceremony, celebration, consecration–come to us wrapped up, not in tissue and ribbons, but in cherished memories. This is the month of miracles. The oil that burns for eight days, the royal son born in a stable, the inexplicable return of Light on the longest, darkest day of the year. Where there is love, there are always miracles.
– Sarah Ban Breathnach
For Thy bounty, which includes the others with whom we share the Thanksgiving table this holiday and every day, we pray
The table is where we mark milestones, divulge dreams, bury hatchets, make deals, give thanks, plan vacations and tell jokes. It’s also where children learn the lessons that families teach: manners, cooperation, communication, self-control, values. It’s where we make up and make merry. It’s where we live, between the lines.
– Doris Christopher
Come to the Table: A Celebration of Family Life
According to some sources, the idea for All Saints’ Day which is celebrated globally goes back to the fourth century when the Greek Christians kept a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost (in late May or early June) in honor of all martyrs and saints. Other sources say that a commemoration of ‘All Martyrs’ began to be celebrated as early as 270 CE but no specific month or date is recorded. Pope Gregory IV made All Saints’ Day an authorized holiday in 837 CE. It is speculated that the chosen date for the event, November 1, may have been an attempt to supplant the pagan Festival of the Dead.
Halloween’s roots lie in an ancient pagan festival for the dead. While this autumn feast can be used for evil purposes, our culture celebrates it as an innocent night of begging and fun. We who believe in the light of the world can use it to celebrate the Light. ‘Hallow’ means holy and the word Halloween refers to the night before the feast of all holies, or All Saints Day. Emphasize all things good, joyful and pure. Let your children know that they are ‘children of the light’ called to walk in the light.
The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked ‘to turn to God in prayer and meditation.’ Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. The modern law formalizing its annual observance was enacted in 1952, although it has historical origins to a mandate by George Washington, the first president of the United States. Its constitutionality is being challenged in court by the Freedom From Religion Foundation after their first challenge was unanimously dismissed by a federal appellate court in April 2011.