Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Allhallowtide!

  We are all familiar with tomorrow’s Holy Day of Opportunity, the Solemnity of All Saints, but did you know that what we now call Halloween was once part of a mini-triduum of sorts, Allhallowtide?  According to ChurchPOP, Christians have been celebrating All Saints’ Day, known as Hallowmas, since the first millenium, to honor all those great saints and martyrs whose lives we couldn’t celebrate during the rest of the year (because, to be frank, we just ran out of days!).  The Vigil for this feast was All Hallows’ Eve, and was originally a day of fasting and prayer.  Much later, St. Odilo of Cluny added All Souls’ Day (November 2) to the calendar, to remember the rest of the faithful departed.  And believe it or not, in the 15th century, this three-day celebration was extended into an entire octave – a whole week of praying for the dead, saints and sinners (though this was eliminated by Pope Pius XII).

  So pray for the dead tonight, on Halloween, and throughout the month of November.  Add the names of your departed family members and friends to the Book of Remembrance in the church.  And watch this blog for more posts meant to help us remember all those who have gone before us…

During the month of November, we remember all souls…

For more information on how Christianity co-opted some of the symbols associated with pagan celebrations at this time of year, click here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Miraculous (Marilynne Robinson)

   We inhabit, we are part of, a reality for which explanation is much too poor and small.  No physicist would dispute this, though he or she might be less ready than I am to have recourse to the old language and call reality miraculous.  [The danger is] a tendency … to marginalize the sense of the sacred, the beautiful, everything in any way lofty. 

--Marilynne Robinson, 
When I Was a Child I Read Books

Monday, October 29, 2018

I visit the orchards of God (Walt Whitman)

Swift wind! Space! My Soul!  Now I know it is true what I guessed at;
What I guessed when I loafed on the grass,
What I guessed while I lay alone in my bed . . . . 
and again when I walked
the beach under the paling stars of the morning.  […]

I visit the orchards of God and look at the spheric product,
And look at quintillions ripened, and look at quintillions green.

I fly the flight of the fluid and swallowing soul,
My course runs below the sound of plummets.

--Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)
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