Holiday / Holy Day…
This was the day the Japanese attacked the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor early one Sunday morning at 7:55 AM. This cowardly attack lasted for two hours, ending at 9:55 AM.
I’m posting a link to a video below that explains that sad day in history, and to commemorate this day because I believe every American should know what December 7th represents.
America’s resilience in the face of evil and violence should be admired and emulated. The strength and heroism of our military has suffered under Obama’s obvious dislike for America and all it stands for, but the tides are slowly turning, and together, we will Make America Great Again, so help us, God.
America thanks you for your service to our great country. Your heroism will never, ever be forgotten. Your bravery will be respected and emulated in every branch of service because all of you, past and present, are members of the Greatest Generation of all time, and your efforts helped build this nation into what it is today.
Thank you from the bottom of our very grateful hearts… †
Here’s their story…
I offer this prayer to all those who have died fighting for this country and for the freedoms we enjoy. Although we don’t know many of their names, we do appreciate their sacrifices, and they will always be in our prayers of gratitude. Thank you for your dedicated and heroic service to our great country. You will never, ever be forgotten; you will be honored and emulated for your heroism…
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INDEPENDENCE DAY JULY 4, 1776—THE BIRTH OF THE GREATEST NATION IN HISTORY 239 YEARS AGO TODAY (JULY 4, 2015)…
As we celebrate the birth of our nation, I wanted to post something inspiring because each day, I feel so grateful that I was born in the greatest country on this planet. This day in history should be revered by all Americans, including those who chose to come here seeking freedom and prosperity, and also to those who were saved from evil and tyranny in their own countries because of America’s treasure and the blood that spilled from American soldiers.
Freedom and prosperity wasn’t given to any of us on a silver platter without immense sacrifice and loss of life. Freedom started with a vision from America’s brave and insightful Founding Fathers. How inspiring that we, as individuals, can take an idea and actually mold it into something as great as America, Land of the Free Because of the Brave. Those brave heroes who followed them had enough of tyranny, and actually did something constructive about it. They talked the talk, then walked the walk, which was treacherous beyond words back then. They fought the injustices of their day and many paid with their lives and also the lives of their families as well. Our brave military continues this fight to this day, not just for America, but for all other nations who have faced and are facing the dark evil that inhabits this world.
We should all hold our Founding Fathers and our military in our thoughts and prayers, not just today, but every day because every day of our lives, here in America, we are the blessed recipients of not only the greatest country in the world, but with the greatest military in the world, too. After all, this nation started with prayer…
…and if we don’t continue with this tried-and-true tradition, I believe this great country will end without it…
I also believe Almighty God will continue to bless this great nation as He has been doing for 239 years, despite the evil that surrounds America and its allies. We would all be wise not to focus on what we want, but focus on what we have, and count our blessings each and every day. As a country, we should never forget where we came from, and we should thank God every day for guiding our Founding Fathers to break away from tyranny and embrace Almighty God who made America into the shining light upon the hill. As long as we, as Americans, continue to fight for what is right and continue to rightly give thanks to Almighty God for His bountiful blessings upon our great nation, He will continue to bless the United States of America…
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—Francis A. Walker
This is my first post in a long time, which happens to be on this revered day—Memorial Day. I always try to focus on the blessings we enjoy in this country, but sometimes we need to be reminded why we have that freedom and at what cost.
I often walk in cemeteries because I find it so peaceful. As I pass the graves where veterans are buried, I offer to them a prayer of thanks for their heroism and sacrifices. Whether they passed in battle or after their tours were completed, they all deserve the utmost honor and respect. Around Memorial Day and Veterans Day (the day we honor all veterans who have served in the Armed Forces), when I see all the flags on graves throughout the cemetery, I’m reminded of their faithful service to our country. Sadly, there seems to be more as the years pass by.
We also need to be reminded that our fallen heroes aren’t just buried here in the United States; they’re buried overseas where they fought courageously against evil tyranny. Thanks to our military and its allies, so many countries have been freed of oppression. It’s unfortunate that evil still persists in this world, but with our strong and fearless military, we can be sure that wherever there is evil trying to rob us of our freedom, there will be fearless warriors who will fight to the death in order to preserve it.
Pictures are worth 1,000 words which is why I’ve posted images of the twenty European eternal resting places of our 104,366 fallen heroes (below). Following these images are some military quotes which I’ve found to be memorable and worth repeating.
The sheer magnitude of the number of American soldiers who paid the ultimate price in order to free the oppressed around the world should be reason enough to honor them for the sacrifices they made by emulating their courage, strength and love of country.
Their raw courage at being able to stare evil in the face while suppressing their fears in fierce combat confirms the fact that their abilities were given and guided by Almighty God Himself. Our soldiers know that the evil in front of them isn’t as strong as God, who’s always behind them. We are immensely grateful for the courage they’ve shown in combat, and thank them for their brave service to our country and to the European and Middle Eastern countries they rescued from tyranny. They all have our continuing love, gratitude, support and prayers. Rest In Peace, Brave Warriors…
Wishing you a peaceful and blessed Memorial Day…
American Heroes Buried in Europe
1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France. A total of 2,289 of our military dead.
2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium. A total of 5,329 of our dead.
3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France. A total of 4,410 of our military dead.
4. Brookwood, England American Cemetery. A total of 468 of our dead.
5. Cambridge, England.. A total of 3,812 of our military dead.
6. Epinal, France American Cemetery. A total of 5,525 of our Military dead..
7. Flanders Field, Belgium. A total of 368 of our military.
8. Florence, Italy. A total of 4,402 of our military dead.
9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. A total of 7,992 of our military dead.
10. Lorraine, France. A total of 10,489 of our military dead.
11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg. A total of 5,076 of our military dead..
12. Meuse-Argonne. A total of 14,246 of our military dead.
13. Netherlands, Netherlands. A total of 8,301 of our military dead..
14. Normandy, France. A total of 9,387 of our military dead..
15. Oise-Aisne, France. A total of 6,012 of our military dead…
16. Rhone, France. A total of 861 of our military dead.
17. Sicily, Italy. A total of 7,861 of our military dead.
18. Somme, France. A total of 1,844 of our military dead.
19. St. Mihiel, France. A total of 4,153 of our military dead.
20. Suresnes, France. A total of 1,541 of military dead..
Now For The Military Quotes…
Also From: American Veteran’s Memorial
| “There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time.”General George Patton
| “It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it.”General Douglas MacArthur
| “It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who gave us the freedom to demonstrate
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag.
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC
| “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”President John F. Kennedy
| “Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers.”Aristotle
| “It is God’s job to forgive Osama Bin Laden. It is our job to arrange a face to face meeting.”General Norman Schwarzkopf
| “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”President Dwight D. Eisenhower
| God of our fathers, who by land and sea have ever led us to victory, please continue your inspiring guidance in this the greatest of all conflicts. Strengthen my soul so that the weakening instinct of self-preservation, which besets all of us in battle, shall not blind me of my duty to my own manhood, to the glory of my calling, and to my responsibility to my fellow soldiers. Grant to our armed forces that disciplined valor and mutual confidence which insures success in war. Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived. If it be my lot to die, let me do so with courage and honor in a manner which will bring the greatest harm to the enemy, and please, oh Lord, protect and guide those I shall leave behind. Give us the victory, Lord.”General George Patton
| “Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.”General George Marshall
| “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”President Thomas Jefferson
| “There are some who’ve forgotten why we have a military. It’s not to promote war, it’s to be prepared for peace.”President Ronald Reagan
|“Now therefore, be it Resolved by the Fiftieth Annual Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, That we hereby declare that we are unalterably opposed to any program which would entail the surrender of any part of the sovereignty of the United States of America in favor of a world government.”
Veterans of Foreign Wars
| “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”President George Washington
| “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”General Norman Schwarzkopf
| “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”General George Washington
| “The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.”Air Force Motto
| “I am concerned for the security of our great nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”General Douglas MacArthur
| “I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them into his Holy keeping.”General George Washington at Valley Forge
| “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”President George Washington
|It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
Copyright 1970, 2005 Charles M. Province
HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2014: WHY I FEEL BLESSED AND SO GRATEFUL / “ARE YOU THANKFUL?” VIDEO / A LITTLE THANKSGIVING DAY HISTORY…
“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
—William Arthur Ward
We’re all struggling with our own problems, but if we reach into our hearts and give thanks for even one blessing, we’ll find that our struggles seem a little lighter and our days seem a little brighter. I try and give thanks every day in spite of the chaos that surrounds us all on a daily basis. Every night at the dinner table, it’s a ritual that we say “Grace” and give thanks for God’s bountiful blessings, and you know what? Obstacles don’t seem as unsurmountable, problems seem to be more manageable.
On this Thanksgiving Day 2014, I wish to give thanks to Almighty God for blessing me with a loving husband who would do anything to make me happy, and he does. I am blessed because even though I was diagnosed with Invasive Breast Cancer in 2011, God has kept the cancer from returning. I am blessed because God gave me the courage and strength to get past my 7th breast cancer surgery just a few months ago. I am blessed because I know God has my back as I endure yet another surgery in the spring as a result of a side effect from my reconstructive surgery. I am blessed because even though I can’t stand what’s happening to this beautiful country, I know through prayer and faith, we’ll get back on track with God’s grace and guidance. I am blessed to be in a peaceful home where there is no stress. I am blessed with a wonderful family and good friends who enhance my life even more. I am blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law who treats me like a loving daughter. Today, I’m not going to think about what bothers me because today, Thanksgiving Day, I will only allow myself to focus on what’s good in my life and in this world.
Are you thankful for what you have? Watch the video and read a little about the history of Thanksgiving Day below. I chose this particular version of the History of Thanksgiving because today is a blessed day, and not a day for animosity and hate. May you all have a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving…
To our Military: We pray that God protects all of you as you protect us so selflessly. We pray that you are always surrounded by God’s Light so you can see the evil before it sees you. May you all safely return home to your families soon. We thank you all for your brave service to this beautiful country. May your families also be blessed as they await your safe return home…
In Love and Light…
History of Thanksgiving Day
The Pilgrims who sailed to America were originally members of the English Separatist Church. Before going to America they had fled to Holland to escape religious persecution. Although, in Holland, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disillusioned with the Dutch way of life. In the hope of a better life, they took the help of a London stock company to move out to America. Most of those making this trip aboard the Mayflower were non-Separatists. Only about one-third of the original colonists were Separatists.
They reached Plymouth in 1620. There, they had to face a terrible winter. Around 46 of the original 102 had died by the next fall. But fortune turned in their favor and the harvest of the next year was bumper. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast, including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true “thanksgiving” observance. It lasted three days. Governor William Bradford sent “four men fowling” after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast. However, it is certain that they had venison. The term “turkey” was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unanimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving. It is notable that this thanksgiving celebration probably did not include the Indians, as the celebration was meant partly to be in recognition of the colonists’ recent victory over the “heathen natives”. October of 1777 marked the first time that all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration. It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. But it was a one-time affair.
George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it. There was discord among the colonies, many feeling the hardships of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday.
And later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having a day of thanksgiving. It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies’ Magazine, and later, in Godey’s Lady’s Book.
Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale’s obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who set it up one week to the next-to-last Thursday in order to create a longer Christmas shopping season. Public uproar against this decision caused the president to move Thanksgiving back to its original date two years later.
And in 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.
Holy Saturday is not as well-known as Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but it is a very significant day. Holy Saturday is between the Death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a solemn day in which we are deeply saddened by His death on Good Friday, but it’s also a day in which we have faith that tomorrow will bring us much joy when He is Resurrected from the Dead on Easter Sunday.
We should reflect on that waiting period in our own lives and have faith that we will have a better tomorrow. When we go through struggles of our own, we need to have faith that God will bring us through our hardships in His time, not in ours. We need to draw some of the strength that Jesus had, knowing that He was going to die, yet was confident that God would save Him, and He did. When I’m dealing with insurmountable obstacles in my life, and there have been many, I pray to Almighty God to give me the strength to get through them, and He always delivers.
May God’s Love and Guidance surround you and your loved ones each and every day, whether you’re going through hardships of your own or know someone who is. If you have faith, bountiful blessings will happen…
As we await the Resurrection of Our Lord And Savior, Jesus Christ, let us pray (Excerpt from my Lenten 2014 Post…
Saturday, April 19, Holy Saturday
“He has been raised up; He is not here.” (Mark 16:6)
The cross is the hope of Christians
the cross is the resurrection of the dead
the cross is the way of the lost
the cross is the savior of the lost
the cross is the staff of the lame
the cross is the guide of the blind
the cross is the strength of the weak
the cross is the doctor of the sick
the cross is the aim of the priests
the cross is the hope of the hopeless
the cross is the freedom of the slaves
the cross is the power of the kings
the cross is the water of the seeds
the cross is the consolation of the bondsmen
the cross is the source of those who seek water
the cross is the cloth of the naked.
We thank you, Father, for the cross.
On Holy Saturday the Church is, as it were, at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell, and awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting. It is highly recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people (cf. n. 40). Where this cannot be done, there should be some celebration of the Word of God, or some act of devotion suited to the mystery celebrated this day. The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb, or the descent into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image of the sorrowful Virgin Mary can be placed in the church for the veneration of the faithful. On this day the Church abstains strictly from the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass. Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum. The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick. The faithful are to be instructed on the special character of Holy Saturday. Festive customs and traditions associated with this day on account of the former practice of anticipating the celebration of Easter on Holy Saturday should be reserved for Easter night and the day that follows.
Lord, by the suffering of Christ your Son you have saved us all from the death we inherited from sinful Adam. By the law of nature we have borne the likeness of his manhood. May the sanctifying power of grace help us to put on the likeness of our Lord in heaven, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Holy Saturday (in Latin, Sabbatum Sanctum ), the ‘day of the entombed Christ’, is the Lord’s day of rest, for on that day Christ’s body lay in His tomb. We recall the Apostle’s Creed which says “He descended unto the dead.” It is a day of suspense between two worlds, that of darkness, sin and death, and that of the Resurrection and the restoration of the Light of the World. For this reason no divine services are held until the Easter Vigil begins that night. This day between Good Friday and Easter Day makes present to us the end of one world and the complete newness of the era of salvation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.
Ideally, Holy Saturday should be the quietest day of the year (although this is not so easy in a busy household with children as it might be in a convent or monastery.) Nightfall on Holy Saturday is time for joy and greatest expectation because of the beautiful liturgy of the Easter Vigil, often referred to as the Mother of all Holy Vigils, or the Great Service of Light. The Easter Vigil was restored to the liturgy in 1955, during the liturgical reform which preceded the Second Vatican Council.
During the day, the preparations at home which must be made for Easter Day are appropriate, however, because they keep our attention fixed on the holiness and importance of the most central feast of the Church. Working with our children to prepare for Easter can offer us many ‘teaching moments’, as well.
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I would never want to partake in a two weeks’ long celebrated journey toward the 7 Deadly Sins just before the Holy Season of Lent, but that’s just me.
Here’s all the information you’ll need for the Lenten Season 2014…
First, here’s the Lenten Schedule From: Catholic Liturgical Calendar for Lent 2014 which lists dates from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Click on the links for additional information…
Lent is a time of preparation for the death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a period of 40 days of repentance, with prayer, fasting and abstinence, and Confession.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. (For an explanation why Lent begins 46 days before Easter but is only 40 days long, see How Are the 40 Days of Lent Calculated?) For Eastern Rite Catholics, Lent begins two days earlier, on Clean Monday. The following is a list of the dates of the Sundays and major feast days that fall in Lent 2014.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
• First Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 9, 2014
• Second Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 16, 2014
• Feast of Saint Patrick
Monday, March 17, 2014
• Feast of Saint Joseph
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
• Third Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
• Fourth Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 30, 2014
• Fifth Sunday of Lent
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
From: The Holy Season Of Lent 2014…
Here’s a Lenten and Easter Calendar for 2014. Just click on each week for the Daily Reflections, Daily Lenten Questions, Daily Actions and Daily Prayers for each of the forty days of Lent (Ash Wednesday is shown below). There are also sections that describe Fasting and Abstinence, Holy Days during Lent as well as a section on the Stations Of The Cross. Just click on Lent & Easter 2014.
I went to Parochial school and have always fasted (just clear liquids—no alcohol) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It’s the only time of year where I don’t mind going without food for 24 hours. Fasting gives me a clearer mind and makes me feel closer to God. I go through these daily exercises every Lenten Season, and really look forward to it—it’s so inspiring. Why not try it, or at least read the daily prayers? I find a lot of strength in these prayers, and it also sustains my soul.
I will receive my ashes today and will look forward to each and every glorious day that God gives me. I will show my gratitude every day and pray that people will look to God for guidance, for He alone is our salvation. We simply cannot allow anyone to remove God and all His Goodness and Glory from our hearts or from our country. America is God’s country, and this is the world that He created. It is not man-made. God will give us comfort and strength to carry on, and He will be the One to deliver us from all this evil that surrounds us as well. After all, he sent his Only Beloved Son to die for our sins. The least we can do is honor Him for all He’s given us…
Here is the reading for today, Ash Wednesday (March 5, 2014)…
Wednesday, March 5, Ash Wednesday
“Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.” Gn. 3:19
Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. (Joel 2:13)
The liturgical use of ashes originated in the Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. In the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Esther 4:1). Job repented in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6). Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel wrote, “I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3).
Jesus made reference to ashes, “If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago” (Matthew 11:21).
In the Middle Ages, the priest would bless the dying person with holy water, saying, “Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.” The Church adapted the use of ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins. In our present liturgy for Ash Wednesday, we use ashes made from the burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, “Remember, man you are dust and to dust you shall return,” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” As we begin this holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins. We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven.
Q: What is Lent?
A: Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). [This traditional enumeration does not precisely coincide with the calendar according to the liturgical reform. In order to give special prominence to the Sacred Triduum (Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) the current calendar counts Lent as only from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, up to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Even so, Lenten practices are properly maintained up to the Easter Vigil, excluding Sundays, as before.]
Invite a non-practicing friend to Mass with you.
Almighty and everlasting God, you despise nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our brokenness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Ash Wednesday is a day of both fasting and abstinence.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
UPDATED 03-07-14: IS MICHELLE OBAMA WEARING A WIG? GETTING HER OWN TALK SHOW? AND THE VIDEO OF HER “WIGGING OUT” TO A HECKLER…
Friday, March 7, 2014 — 9:05 PM (My original post follows my update)
Today, I’m posting a two-fer. I’m posting a link to new pics of Michelle Obama (Obama #2). This is also my “Friday Funnies” because when I saw that Obama #2 was desperately trying to channel Beyoncé’s look, I couldn’t control my laughter. Maybe she’s trying to get Obama to give her a second look as he did the attractive blonde Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. She’s even trying the “pout”, with not much success, I’m afraid. With Obama’s new highlighted wig, you just can’t tell her and Beyoncé apart [sarcasm here]. They both wear wigs, but Beyoncé’s wigs are of higher quality. If Michelle Obama were smart, she’d invest in one of those high-quality wigs that have a lace front, using her own money, of course…
I’m not knocking her. I’d just like her and the media to acknowledge it’s not her real hair and for her to be honest for once in her life. The pics shown in the link below were taken a couple of days ago in Miami. She’s sporting “blonde highlights”, although if you look at the pics, this is not her real hair. It’s as fake as she is, which is very evident in the Rachael Ray video within this story…
Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think too many black women look good as blondes. If they were happy with their ethnicity, wouldn’t they embrace it? Instead they hide it and embrace the Caucasian look. Take a look at this photo. It looks like Obama #2 doesn’t like what she sees when she looks at Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni. I wonder what she’s thinking. Perhaps she’s coveting Bruni’s real Caucasian hair and flawless features…
Here is my Original Post…
Does she or doesn’t she? First, Michelle Obama goes through the “bangs” hair transformation, from this…
…and expects us to believe as she claims, that “This is my mid-life crisis. I cut my bangs because I can’t get a sports car and won’t be allowed to bungee jump.” The Web is all abuzz with numerous stories in blogs, on news and celebrity sites about how Michelle Obama was “having a mid-life crisis and cut her bangs”. My first reaction was “All this for a d**n wig?”
My remark reminded me of when Michelle Obama said “All this for a d**n Flag?” Of course, they all denied it, but she did say it. After her words, she shakes her head and purses her lips. They continue to defend her and her husband’s reckless actions, no matter what. Even Snopes’ explanations were so way off base, they should be renamed “Dopes”. It was a derogatory statement, especially with the shaking of the head and the pursing of the lips. You don’t have to be a body language specialist to know what that means. The hype for her (and her husband) is so pathetic and misguided.
Even Barack Obama has enormous disrespect for Americans and the American Flag. Ironically, these pictures were taken exactly four years ago today—June 6, 2009, on the 65th Anniversary of D-Day. How revolting is that? This disgusting display of disrespect for the United States Flag was a precursor of what was to come…well, some of us knew. Others were low-information idiots who couldn’t see past their noses…
The Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Every society needs heroes. And every society has them. The reason we don’t often see them is because we don’t bother to look.
There are two kinds of heroes. Heroes who shine in the face of great adversity, who perform an amazing feat in a difficult situation. And heroes who live among us, who do their work unceremoniously, unnoticed by many of us, but who make a difference in the lives of others.
Heroes are selfless people who perform extraordinary acts. The mark of heroes is not necessarily the result of their action, but what they are willing to do for others and for their chosen cause. Even if they fail, their determination lives on for others to follow. The glory lies not in the achievement, but in the sacrifice.”
―Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me…”
― Lee Greenwood
God welcomes our Fallen Heroes so they can enjoy Eternal Peace with Him after the sacrifices they made for their country, for their loved ones. Before you praise celebrities for doing nothing but taking your hard-earned money and squandering it frivolously on themselves, why not praise those heroic soldiers who put their lives on the line for us each and every day, expecting nothing in return. Pray for those who have lost their lives protecting the freedoms that we so readily enjoy every day. That’s where your loyalties should be. That’s where it would be truly appreciated.
In honor of our Fallen Heroes, I’d like to thank them for their selfless acts of heroism and for their ultimate sacrifices, and I also thank their parents for bringing these heroes into the world. Here is a beautiful prayer from American Psalms…
A Prayer in Honor of Fallen Heroes
Arlington National Cemetery
Comforter and Councilor,1 We turn to you in our time of grief; our help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.2 Since the Civil War, we have set aside a day for remembrance, and our hearts are broken for the men and women who have been lost while serving our country.
Neither national liberty nor eternal freedom comes without a price. You paid for our eternal salvation with your own son,3 and you feel the suffering4 of parents who’ve lost their children defending America’s freedom. You have heard the cries of spouses, children, siblings and friends. You have collected their tears5 and will be their comfort:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
I am grateful for those who have died defending my freedom. Do not allow me to become complacent toward their sacrifice, but exercise my freedom to benefit my country and your Kingdom. Remind me daily that my freedom in both life and eternity came at a price someone else paid.
For hundreds of years, men and women have sacrificed themselves for my right to pursue happiness. They have shown the true meaning of love, for:
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
I am grateful to those individuals, and my heart turns toward the family members who are left behind. This day is a reminder of their sacrifice and I pray the Holy Spirit would comfort them. AMEN.
1 John 14:26
2 Psalm 121:3
3 1 Corinthians 6:20
4 Hebrews 4:15
5 Psalm 56:8
My post follows this video…
Here it is Easter Sunday, and Google has posted this: Cesar Chavez’s 86th Birthday…
A Civil Rights activist who was born on March 31st and died in 1993. Are you kidding me? I’m a Catholic, and I find Google’s “political correctness” totally appalling, especially on Easter Sunday. They do this time and time again with all Christian holidays. On Christmas, they had ice skaters. The subject matter never reflects the Christian holidays. I’m through with Google, and have changed my search engine to Bing. At least Bing has Easter eggs on their search engine.
I’m reposting my Easter message (below) that includes some beautiful Easter quotes to all my Catholic and Christian friends from my April 12, 2009 Easter post. The sentiment still rings true today. Google can go to hell…
Rejoice! The Lord has Risen! This post is my Easter offering to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Happy Easter…
The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. ~Robert Flatt
Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. ~Clarence W. Hall
The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice. ~Henry Knox Sherrill
Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless. ~Charles M. Crowe
Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but Life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, the light;
Stronger than the wrong, the right…
~Phillips Brooks, “An Easter Carol”
I didn’t feel it was appropriate to post a “Friday Funnies” today because to me, this is a very somber day. It’s Good Friday, but I don’t see anything “good” about the death of Jesus Christ. Why do they have to call it Good Friday? It should be called Sorrowful Friday because it marks the day Jesus died on the cross.
Every Good Friday, I fast. I don’t even put a mint in my mouth. I only drink water for the whole day. Funny that it doesn’t bother me at all, but this is what I do for My Lord and My God. The Catholic Church says you can have one meal that’s not as large as a full meal and two tiny meals that do not equal a full meal, but the way I look at it, if Jesus can go 40 days without food or water, I can go 24 hours without food.
I’m still healing from my recent breast cancer procedure, and went out walking in a cemetery with my husband today. I wanted to walk longer than my husband wanted so he waited in his truck while I continued to walk. It was during the 3-hour timeframe that Jesus died (between 12 and 3 PM), and I always stop and reflect at that particular time. Weird the way the sky was covered in dark clouds at that particular time. The sun reappeared later.
While I was walking, I picked up some flags that had fallen on the ground from the graves of some veterans, and prayed for them, thanking them for their service. I noticed an elderly man who was fixing some beautiful flowers and religious statues around a headstone. I told him, “What a beautiful tribute to a loved one.” He came up to me and told me his wife is buried there, and proceeded to tell me all about her. We talked for quite some time, but the one thing I liked about our conversation was that he never once referred to his wife as “the old ball and chain” or “thorn in my side”, etc. As he told me about his cherished time with his wife, it was with such love and respect. Even when she became sick, he never left her side. He said she was the greatest joy in his life and when his wife passed, half of him died with her. As he spoke about her, it made me feel as though I wanted to live my life so that my husband and people who knew me would say all those great things about me as well after I’m gone. I gave him a hug and promised to say a special prayer for her and also for him.
What I took away from my visit with this wonderful man…yes, I called him a man because that’s what he is…is that if you live your life according to God’s will, you will never be forgotten, even after death. Jesus died for our sins, but through the glory of God, he was resurrected and enjoyed eternal life, as we will enjoy if we live according to God’s will. I really feel that I was put in that man’s path for a reason, as I believe everything happens for a reason. He wanted to talk, and I was willing to listen.
So today, I will look at this as a teaching moment in my life to live a good and wholesome life because whether you believe it or not, even if we don’t think people are watching what we do, God is watching…
Here are some facts about Good Friday…
This includes a video…
Good Friday 2013 through 2023 from Calendar-365…
|Good Friday 2013||March 29, 2013|
|Good Friday 2014||April 18, 2014|
|Good Friday 2015||April 3, 2015|
|Good Friday 2016||March 25, 2016|
|Good Friday 2017||April 14, 2017|
|Good Friday 2018||March 30, 2018|
|Good Friday 2019||April 19, 2019|
|Good Friday 2020||April 10, 2020|
|Good Friday 2021||April 2, 2021|
|Good Friday 2022||April 15, 2022|
|Good Friday 2023||April 7, 2023|
From Wiki: Good Friday…
|Significance||Commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ|
|Date||Friday immediately preceding Easter Sunday|
|2013 date||March 29 (Western)May 3 (Eastern)|
|Celebrations||No traditional celebrations|
|Observances||Worship services, prayer and vigil services, fasting, almsgiving|
Good Friday[nb 1] is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday, though the latter properly refers to the Friday in Easter week.
Based on the details of the Canonical gospels, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday (John 19:42). The estimated year of the Crucifixion is AD 33, by two different groups, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon. A third method, using a completely different astronomical approach based on a lunar Crucifixion darkness and eclipse model (consistent with Apostle Peter‘s reference to a “moon of blood” in Acts 2:20), points to Friday, 3 April AD 33.
According to the accounts in the Gospels, the Temple Guards, guided by Jesus’ disciple Judas Iscariot, arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas received money (30 pieces of silver) (Matthew 26:14-16) for betraying Jesus and told the guards that whomever he kisses is the one they are to arrest. Following his arrest, Jesus was brought to the house of Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest, Caiaphas. There he was interrogated with little result and sent bound to Caiaphas the high priest where the Sanhedrin had assembled (John 18:1-24).
Conflicting testimony against Jesus was brought forth by many witnesses, to which Jesus answered nothing. Finally the high priest adjured Jesus to respond under solemn oath, saying “I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?” Jesus testified ambiguously, “You have said it, and in time you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty, coming on the clouds of Heaven.” The high priest condemned Jesus for blasphemy, and the Sanhedrin concurred with a sentence of death (Matthew 26:57-66). Peter, waiting in the courtyard, also denied Jesus three times to bystanders while the interrogations were proceeding just as Jesus had predicted.
In the morning, the whole assembly brought Jesus to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate under charges of subverting the nation, opposing taxes to Caesar, and making himself a king (Luke 23:1-2). Pilate authorized the Jewish leaders to judge Jesus according to their own law and execute sentencing; however, the Jewish leaders replied that they were not allowed by the Romans to carry out a sentence of death (John 18:31).
Pilate questioned Jesus and told the assembly that there was no basis for sentencing. Upon learning that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate referred the case to the ruler of Galilee, King Herod, who was in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. Herod questioned Jesus but received no answer; Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate told the assembly that neither he nor Herod found guilt in Jesus; Pilate resolved to have Jesus whipped and released (Luke 23:3-16). Under the guidance of the chief priests, the crowd asked for Barabbas, who had been imprisoned for committing murder during an insurrection. Pilate asked what they would have him do with Jesus, and they demanded, “Crucify him” (Mark 15:6-14). Pilate’s wife had seen Jesus in a dream earlier that day, and she forewarned Pilate to “have nothing to do with this righteous man” (Matthew 27:19). Pilate had Jesus flogged and then brought him out to the crowd to release him. The chief priests informed Pilate of a new charge, demanding Jesus be sentenced to death “because he claimed to be God’s son.” This possibility filled Pilate with fear, and he brought Jesus back inside the palace and demanded to know from where he came (John 19:1-9).
Coming before the crowd one last time, Pilate declared Jesus innocent and washed his own hands in water to show he has no part in this condemnation. Nevertheless, Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified in order to forestall a riot (Matthew 27:24-26) and ultimately to keep his job. The sentence written was “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Jesus carried his cross to the site of execution (assisted by Simon of Cyrene), called the place of the Skull, or “Golgotha” in Hebrew and in Latin “Calvary”. There he was crucified along with two criminals (John 19:17-22).
Jesus agonized on the cross for six hours. During his last 3 hours on the cross, from noon to 3 p.m., darkness fell over the whole land. With a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit. There was an earthquake, tombs broke open, and the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom. The centurion on guard at the site of crucifixion declared, “Truly this was God’s Son!” (Matthew 27:45-54)
Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin and secret follower of Jesus, who had not consented to his condemnation, goes to Pilate to request the body of Jesus (Luke 23:50-52). Another secret follower of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus brought about a hundred pound weight mixture of spices and helped wrap the body of Christ (John 19:39-40). Pilate asks confirmation from the centurion whether Jesus is dead (Mark 15:44). A soldier pierced the side of Jesus with a lance causing blood and water to flow out (John 19:34), and the centurion informs Pilate that Jesus is dead (Mark 15:45).
Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body, wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and placed it in his own new tomb that had been carved in the rock (Matthew 27:59-60) in a garden near the site of crucifixion. Nicodemus (John 3:1) also brought 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes, and placed them in the linen with the body, in keeping with Jewish burial customs (John 19:39-40). They rolled a large rock over the entrance of the tomb (Matthew 27:60). Then they returned home and rested, because Shabbat had begun at sunset (Luke 23:54-56). On the third day, Sunday, which is now known as Easter Sunday (or Pascha), Jesus rose from the dead.
In the Roman Catholic Church
Day of Fasting
The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat. In countries where Good Friday is not a day of rest from work, the afternoon liturgical service is usually put off until a few hours after the recommended time of 3 p.m.
Services on the day
The Latin Rite has no celebration of Mass between the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening and the Easter Vigil unless a special exemption is granted for rare solemn or grave occasions by the Vatican or the local bishop. The only sacraments celebrated during this time are Baptism (for those in danger of death), Penance, and Anointing of the Sick. While there is no celebration of the Eucharist, it is distributed to the faithful only in the Service of the Passion of the Lord, but can also be taken at any hour to the sick who are unable to attend this service. During this period crosses, candlesticks, and altar cloths are removed from the altar which remains completely bare. It is also customary to empty the holy water fonts in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. Traditionally, no bells are rung on Good Friday or Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil.
The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord takes place in the afternoon, ideally at three o’clock, but for pastoral reasons a later hour may be chosen. The vestments used are red (more commonly) or black (more traditionally). Before 1970, vestments were black except for the Communion part of the rite when violet was used. Before 1955 black was used throughout. If a bishop or abbot celebrates, he wears a plain mitre (mitra simplex).
- The Liturgy of the Word, consists of the clergy and assisting ministers entering in complete silence, without any singing. They then silently make a full prostration, “[signifying] both the abasement of ‘earthly man,’ and also the grief and sorrow of the Church.” Then follows the Collect prayer, and the reading or chanting of Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9, and the Passion account from the Gospel of John, traditionally divided between three deacons, yet often divided between the celebrant and more than one singer or reader. This part of the liturgy concludes with the orationes sollemnes, a series of prayers for the Church, the Pope, the clergy and laity of the Church, those preparing for baptism, the unity of Christians, the Jewish people, those who do not believe in Christ, those who do not believe in God, those in public office, those in special need. After each prayer intention, the deacon calls the faithful to kneel for a short period of private prayer; the celebrant then sums up the prayer intention with a Collect-style prayer.
- The Adoration of the Cross, has a crucifix, not necessarily the one that is normally on or near the altar at other times, solemnly displayed to the congregation and then venerated by them, individually if possible and usually by kissing the wood of the cross, while hymns and the Improperia (“Reproaches”) with the Trisagion hymn are chanted.
- Holy Communion is done according to a rite based on that of the final part of Mass, beginning with the Our Father, but omitting the ceremony of “Breaking of the Bread” and its related chant, the “Agnus Dei“. The Eucharist, consecrated at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday is distributed at this service. Before the reform of Pope Pius XII, only the priest received Communion in the framework of what was called the “Mass of the Presanctified“, which included the usual Offertory prayers, with the placing of wine in the chalice, but which omitted the Canon of the Mass. The priest and people then depart in silence, and the altar cloth is removed, leaving the altar bare except for the cross and two or four candlesticks.
Stations of the Cross
In addition to the prescribed liturgical service, the Stations of the Cross are often prayed either in the church or outside, and a prayer service may be held from midday to 3.00 p.m., known as the Three Hours’ Agony. In countries such as Malta, Italy, Philippines, Puerto Rico and Spain, processions with statues representing the Passion of Christ are held.
In Rome, since the papacy of Blessed John Paul II, the heights of the Temple of Venus and Roma and their position opposite the main entrance to the Colosseum have been used to good effect as a public address platform. This may be seen in the photograph below where a red canopy has been erected to shelter the Pope as well as an illuminated cross, on the occasion of the Way of the Cross ceremony. The Pope, either personally or through a representative, leads the faithful through meditations on the stations of the cross while a cross is carried from there to the Colosseum.
In Polish churches, a tableau of Christ’s Tomb is unveiled in the sanctuary. Many of the faithful spend long hours into the night grieving at the Tomb, where it is customary to kiss the wounds on the Lord’s body. A life-size figure of Christ lying in his tomb is widely visited by the faithful, especially on Holy Saturday. The tableaux may include flowers, candles, figures of angels standing watch, and the three crosses atop Mt Calvary, and much more. Each parish strives to come up with the most artistically and religiously evocative arrangement in which the Blessed Sacrament, draped in a filmy veil, is prominently displayed.
Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ
The Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus suffered during his Passion on Good Friday. These Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins against Jesus. Some such prayers are provided in the Raccolta Catholic prayer book (approved by a Decree of 1854, and published by the Holy See in 1898) which also includes prayers as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary.
In his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor on reparations, Pope Pius XI called Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ a duty for Catholics and referred to them as “some sort of compensation to be rendered for the injury” with respect to the sufferings of Jesus.
The Holy Week commemorations reach their peak on Good Friday as the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the passion of Jesus. Solemn celebrations take place in all churches together with processions in different villages around Malta and Gozo. During the celebration, the narrative of the passion is read in some localities. The Adoration of the Cross follows. Good Friday processions take place in Birgu, Bormla, Għaxaq, Luqa, Mosta, Naxxar, Paola, Qormi, Rabat, Senglea, Valletta, Żebbuġ (Città Rohan) and Żejtun. Processions in Gozo will be in Nadur, Victoria (St. George and Cathedral), Xagħra and Żebbuġ, Gozo.
In predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the day is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the Cross, the chanting of the Pasyon, and performances of the Senakulo, a Passion play. Church bells are not rung and Masses are not celebrated. Some devotees engage in self-flagellation and even have themselves crucified as expressions of penance despite health issues and strong disapproval from the Church.
After three o’clock in the afternoon (the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), the faithful venerate the cross in the local church and follow the procession of the Burial of Jesus. The image of the dead Christ is then laid in state to be venerated, and sometimes treated in accordance with local burial customs.
In Eastern Christianity
Because the sacrifice of Jesus through his crucifixion is commemorated on this day, the Divine Liturgy (the sacrifice of bread and wine) is never celebrated on Great Friday, except when this day coincides with the Great Feast of the Annunciation, which falls on the fixed date of March 25 (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, March 25 currently falls on April 7 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). Also on Great Friday, the clergy no longer wear the purple or red that is customary throughout Great Lent, but instead don black vestments. There is no “stripping of the altar” on Holy and Great Thursday as in the West; instead, all of the church hangings are changed to black, and will remain so until the Divine Liturgy on Great Saturday.
The faithful revisit the events of the day through public reading of specific Psalms and the Gospels, and singing hymns about Christ’s death. Rich visual imagery and symbolism as well as stirring hymnody are remarkable elements of these observances. In the Orthodox understanding, the events of Holy Week are not simply an annual commemoration of past events, but the faithful actually participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Each hour of this day is the new suffering and the new effort of the expiatory suffering of the Savior. And the echo of this suffering is already heard in every word of our worship service – unique and incomparable both in the power of tenderness and feeling and in the depth of the boundless compassion for the suffering of the Savior. The Holy Church opens before the eyes of believers a full picture of the redeeming suffering of the Lord beginning with the bloody sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane up to the crucifixion on Golgotha. Taking us back through the past centuries in thought, the Holy Church brings us to the foot of the cross of Christ erected on Golgotha, and makes us present among the quivering spectators of all the torture of the Savior.
Great and Holy Friday is observed as a strict fast, and adult Byzantine Christians are expected to abstain from all food and drink the entire day to the extent that their health permits. “On this Holy day neither a meal is offered nor do we eat on this day of the crucifixion. If someone is unable or has become very old [or is] unable to fast, he may be given bread and water after sunset. In this way we come to the holy commandment of the Holy Apostles not to eat on Great Friday.”
Matins of Holy and Great Friday
The Byzantine Christian observance of Holy and Great Friday, which is formally known as The Order of Holy and Saving Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, begins on Thursday night with the Matins of the Twelve Passion Gospels. Scattered throughout this Matins service are twelve readings from all four of the Gospels which recount the events of the Passion from the Last Supper through the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Some churches have a candelabrum with twelve candles on it, and after each Gospel reading one of the candles is extinguished.
The first of these twelve readings John 13:31-18:1 is the longest Gospel reading of the liturgical year, and is a concatenation from all four Gospels. Just before the sixth Gospel reading, which recounts Jesus being nailed to the cross, a large cross is carried out of the sanctuary by the priest, accompanied by incense and candles, and is placed in the center of the nave (where the congregation gathers), with a two-dimensional painted icon of the body of Christ (Greek: soma) affixed to it. As the cross is being carried, the priest or a chanter chants a special antiphon, Sēmeron Kremātai Epí Xýlou:
Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Cross (three times). He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns. He who wraps the Heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who in Jordan set Adam free receives blows upon His face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear. We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ (three times). Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection.
During the service, all come forward to kiss the feet of Christ on the cross. After the Canon, a brief, moving hymn, The Wise Thief is chanted by singers who stand at the foot of the cross in the center of the nave. The service does not end with the First Hour, as usual, but with a special dismissal by the priest:
May Christ our true God, Who for the salvation of the world endured spitting, and scourging, and buffeting, and the Cross, and death, through the intercessions of His most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and the Lover of mankind.
The next day, in the forenoon on Friday, all gather again to pray the Royal Hours, a special expanded celebration of the Little Hours (including the First Hour, Third Hour, Sixth Hour, Ninth Hour and Typica) with the addition of scripture readings (Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel) and hymns about the Crucifixion at each of the Hours (some of the material from the previous night is repeated). This is somewhat more festive in character, and derives its name of “Royal” from both the fact that the Hours are served with more solemnity than normal, commemorating Christ the King who humbled himself for the salvation of mankind, and also from the fact that this service was in the past attended by the Emperor and his court.
Vespers of Holy and Great Friday
In the afternoon, around 3 pm, all gather for the Vespers of the Taking-Down from the Cross, commemorating the Deposition from the Cross. The Gospel reading is a concatenation taken from all four of the Gospels. During the service, the body of Christ (the soma) is removed from the cross, as the words in the Gospel reading mention Joseph of Arimathea, wrapped in a linen shroud, and taken to the altar in the sanctuary. Near the end of the service an epitaphios or “winding sheet” (a cloth embroidered with the image of Christ prepared for burial) is carried in procession to a low table in the nave which represents the Tomb of Christ; it is often decorated with an abundance of flowers. The epitaphios itself represents the body of Jesus wrapped in a burial shroud, and is a roughly full-size cloth icon of the body of Christ. Then the priest may deliver a homily and everyone comes forward to venerate the epitaphios. In the Slavic practice, at the end of Vespers, Compline is immediately served, featuring a special Canon of the Crucifixion of our Lord and the Lamentation of the Most Holy Theotokos by Symeon the Logothete.
Matins of Holy and Great Saturday
On Friday night, the Matins of Holy and Great Saturday, a unique service known as The Lamentation at the Tomb (Epitáphios Thrēnos) is celebrated. This service is also sometimes called Jerusalem Matins. Much of the service takes place around the tomb of Christ in the center of the nave.
A unique feature of the service is the chanting of the Lamentations or Praises (Enkōmia), which consist of verses chanted by the clergy interspersed between the verses of Psalm 119 (which is, by far, the longest psalm in the Bible). The Enkōmia are the best-loved hymns of Byzantine hymnography, both their poetry and their music being uniquely suited to each other and to the spirit of the day. They consist of 185 tercet antiphons arranged in three parts (stáseis or “stops”), which are interjected with the verses of Psalm 119, and nine short doxastiká (“Gloriae“) and Theotókia (invocations to the Virgin Mary). The three stáseis are each set to its own music, and are commonly known by their initial antiphons: “Life in a grave”, “Worthy it is”, and “All the generations”. Musically they can be classified as strophic, with 75, 62, and 48 tercet stanzas each, respectively. The climax of the Enkōmia comes during the third stásis, with the antiphon “Ō glyký mou Éar“, a lamentation of the Virgin for her dead Child (“O, my sweet spring, my sweetest child, where has your beauty gone?”). The author(s) and date of the Enkōmia are unknown. Their High Attic linguistic style suggests a dating around the 6th century, possibly before the time of St. Romanos the Melodist.
At the end of the Great Doxology, while the Trisagion is sung, the epitaphios is taken in procession around the outside the church, and is then returned to the tomb. Some churches observe the practice of holding the epitaphios at the door, above waist level, so the faithful most bow down under it as they come back into the church, symbolizing their entering into the death and resurrection of Christ. The epitaphios will lay in the tomb until the Paschal Service early Sunday morning. In some churches, the epitaphios is never left alone, but is accompanied 24 hours a day by a reader chanting from the Psalter.
The Troparion (hymn of the day) of Good Friday is:
The noble Joseph, when he had taken down Thy most pure Body from the tree, wrapped it in fine linen, and anointed it with spices, and placed it in a new tomb. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. The angel came to the myrrh-bearing women at the tomb and said: Myrrh is fitting for the dead, but Christ has shown Himself a stranger to corruption.
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer did not specify a particular rite to be observed on Good Friday but local custom came to mandate an assortment of services, including the Seven Last Words from the Cross and a three-hour service consisting of Matins, Ante-communion (using the Reserved Sacrament in high church parishes) and Evensong. In recent times revised editions of the Prayer Book and Common Worship have re-introduced pre-Reformation forms of observance of Good Friday corresponding to those in today’s Roman Catholic Church, with special nods to the rites that had been observed in the Church of England prior to the Henrican, Edwardian and Elizabethan reforms, including Creeping to the Cross.
In Lutheran tradition from the 16th to the 20th century, Good Friday was the most important holiday, and abstention from all worldly works was expected. During that time, Lutheranism had no restrictions on the celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday; on the contrary, it was a prime day on which to receive the Eucharist, and services were often accentuated by special music such as the St Matthew Passion by Lutheran Johann Sebastian Bach.
More recently, the Lutheran liturgical practice moved away from the Eucharist celebrated on Good Friday, and among the major Lutheran bodies today, the Eucharist is not celebrated on Good Friday. Rather, it is celebrated in remembrance of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. The common practice among Lutheran churches is to celebrate a tenebrae service on Good Friday, typically conducted in candlelight and consisting of the crucifixion readings. The Good Friday Liturgy appointed in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the liturgical book of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, specifies a Good Friday Liturgy that is in the same order as Roman Catholic practice, although the singing of the Reproaches has been suppressed.
Other Protestant traditions
Many other Protestant communities hold special services on this day as well. Moravians hold a Lovefeast on Good Friday as they receive Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday. The Methodist Church commemorates Good Friday with a service of worship, often based on the Seven Last Words from the Cross. It is not uncommon for some communities to hold interdenominational services on Good Friday.
Some Baptist, Pentecostal, many Sabbatarian and non-denominational churches oppose the observance of Good Friday, regarding it as a papist tradition, and instead observe the Crucifixion on Wednesday to coincide with the Jewish sacrifice of the Passover Lamb (which Christians believe is an Old Testament pointer to Jesus Christ). A Wednesday Crucifixion of Jesus Christ allows for Christ to be in the tomb (“heart of the earth”) for three days and three nights as he told the Pharisees he would be (Matthew 12:40), rather than two nights and a day if he had died on a Friday. Preparation Day (14 Nisan on the Hebrew calendar) – which is the day before Passover (15 Nisan), instead of the Friday morning found in the Synoptic Gospels.
In many countries with a strong Christian tradition such as Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, the countries of the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela, the day is observed as a public or federal holiday. In the United States, 11 states observe Good Friday as state holiday.
The Catholic News Agency (CNA), in an online news story article posted by Alejandro Bermudez on Saturday, March 31, 2012, stated that, in response to a specific request made personally to Cuban President Raul Castro by Pope Benedict XVI, during his Apostolic Visitation of Leon, Mexico and the island in March 2012, following the pattern of small advances in Church-Cuban relations, it was decreed by the Communist Party and Castro and his advisers that in 2012, Good Friday would be made a holiday, with a possibility that the move could perhaps be made permanent (following the move of the late Pope John Paul II, who got Fidel Castro to declare Christmas Day a holiday- which is still the case- due to a personal request during his landmark trip in 1998).
In England and Wales, Good Friday is an official public holiday (a.k.a. Bank Holiday). All schools are closed and most businesses treat it as a holiday for staff; however, many retail stores now remain open.
There is no horse racing on Good Friday in the UK. However, in 2008, betting shops and stores opened for the first time on this day. The BBC has for many years introduced its 7 am News broadcast on Radio 4 on Good Friday with a verse from Isaac Watts‘ hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross“.
In the United States, Good Friday is not a government holiday at the federal level; however, individual states, counties and municipalities may observe the holiday. Good Friday is a state holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. State and local government offices and courts are closed, as well as some banks and postal offices in these states, and in those counties and municipalities where Good Friday is observed as holiday. Good Friday is also a holiday in the U.S. territories of Guam, U.S. Virgin Island and Puerto Rico.
The financial market and stock market is closed on Good Friday. Most retail stores remain open, while some of them may close early. Public schools and universities are often closed on Good Friday, either as a holiday of its own, or part of spring break. The postal service operates, and banks regulated by the federal government do not close for Good Friday.
Calculating the date
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter, which is calculated differently in Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity (see Computus for details). Easter falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, the full moon on or after 21 March, taken to be the date of the vernal equinox. The Western calculation uses the Gregorian calendar, while the Eastern calculation uses the Julian calendar, whose 21 March now corresponds to the Gregorian calendar’s 3 April. The calculations for identifying the date of the full moon also differ. See Computus.
In Eastern Christianity, Easter can fall between March 22 and April 25 on Julian Calendar (thus between April 4 and May 8 in terms of the Gregorian calendar, during the period 1900 and 2099), so Good Friday can fall between March 20 and April 23, inclusive (or between April 2 and May 6 in terms of the Gregorian calendar).
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Out with the old; in with the new—that’s my theme right now. This past year has been a year I really don’t want to forget. Yes, I was diagnosed with Invasive Breast Cancer and have undergone three major surgeries, but when I look at how far I’ve come with the help of my husband, family and friends, I can only be happy because I’m surrounded by immense love. I rejoice because I’m here now, cancer-free! Biopsies after my last surgery in October showed all were benign. I feel God has given me and my husband a miracle, and a second chance to be an even better person, and this has taught me to never again sweat the small stuff, but to embrace all things big and small that makes life worth living…
My wish for 2013 is for the world to become more tolerant of others’ beliefs and idiosyncrasies. There are more good people on God’s great earth than there are bad people. Because of that, this world will not succumb to the evil that is trying to invade us. We must all trust that God will bring us to the Light if we all do what’s right…
May 2013 bring Bountiful Blessings and good health to you and yours…
Here’s a beautiful video I’d like to share with you…Happy New Year!
With much love,
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Looks like Halloween just got a whole lot creepier (I really like the thumb drive, though) LOL! Imagine taking one of these to a Halloween party or out trick-or-treating. While we’re here bracing for the big Nor’Easter coming our way, I wanted to post this in time for Halloween, the start of my most favorite time of year (from Halloween through New Year’s Day). Hope you all enjoy a very Happy [and safe] Halloween…
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Let’s face it, we’ve all performed April Fools’ jokes on family and friends, and have been the recipient of some jokes as well. Wikipedia has some good info on April Fools’ jokes performed around the world by different genres such as: radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, game shows, websites. Hey, we all enjoy a good joke, don’t we?
Here’s some real news that was reported in the past, but these were mistaken for pranks because they occurred in April 1st. The Wikipedia link follows “Real News…” below. Enjoy your weekend…
Real news on April Fools’ Day
The frequency of April Fools’ hoaxes sometimes makes people doubt real news stories released on April 1.
The 1946 April Fools’ Day tsunami in Hilo, Hawaii.
- The April 1, 1946 Aleutian Island earthquake tsunami that killed 165 people in Hawaii and Alaska resulted in the creation of a tsunami warning system, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, established in 1949 for Pacific Ocean countries. The tsunami in question is known in Hawaii as the “April Fools’ Day Tsunami” due to people drowning because of the assumptions that the warnings were an April Fools’ prank.
- The death of King George II of Greece was on April 1, 1947.
- The AMC Gremlin was first introduced on April 1, 1970.
- In 1979, Iran declared April 1 its national Republic Day. Thirty-one years on, this continues to be mistaken for a joke.
- On April 1, 1984, singer Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father. Originally, people assumed that it was a fake news story, especially considering the bizarre aspect of the father being the murderer.
- On April 1, 1991, news emerged that David Icke, the British sports reporter, had announced that he was the son of God and that the world was about to end in an apocalypse. Not surprisingly, many people took the reports as an April Fool. Icke has, however, continued to expound his views.
- On April 1, 1993, NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Alan Kulwicki was killed in a plane crash involving Hooters of America executives in Blountville, Tennessee near the Tri-Cities Airport. The party were travelling to the Food City 500 qualifying scheduled for the next day.
- The suicide death of Death Rock legend Rozz Williams was on April 1, 1998.
- On April 1, 1999, the Canadian Northwest Territories was split, and the territory now known as Nunavut came to be.
- Gmail’s April 1, 2004 launch was widely believed to be a prank, as Google traditionally perpetrates April Fools’ Day hoaxes each April 1, and the announced 1GB online storage was at the time vastly more than existing online email services. Another Google-related event that turned out not to be a hoax occurred on April 1, 2007, when employees at Google’s New York City office were alerted that a ball python kept in an engineer’s cubicle had escaped and was on the loose. An internal e-mail acknowledged that “the timing…could not be more awkward” but that the snake’s escape was in fact an actual occurrence and not a prank.
- On April 1, 2008, it was reported that UEFA would require the Swedish fast food chain Max to close their restaurant at the Borås Arena during the European Under-21 Football Championship due to a conflict with official sponsor McDonald’s and a requirement that only official sponsors may operate around the arena. The arena was later replaced as a tournament site.
- On April 1, 2008, Persch announced that the GNOME desktop web browser Epiphany would be switched from Mozilla’s Gecko engine to the WebKit engine used by Safari and KDE’s equivalent application Konqueror.
- Also, on April 1, 2009, a Virus/Worm called Conficker was released in December 2008 but reports about its spread to millions of computers, releasing personal info and deleting files came out on April 1st. This was supposed to be a joke, but random computers throughout America were hit. Before this happened, news media like NBC, Fox News, ABC and CBS told the viewers to install firewalls and updates to their Windows computers before it hit.
- On April 1, 2011, word of Betty White to host a prank show called Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (not a valid site) hit the news.
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Last Memorial Day, I celebrated our great fallen heroes with words that came from my heart. This year, I would like to celebrate their heroism and the immense love they had for America with two great songs that touched my heart, and I’m sure they’ll touch yours as well. May God Bless And Rest The Very Brave Souls Of Our Fallen Heroes, and May God Continue To Bless America…
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The Easter Story – from the Bible
By the New Living Translation of the Bible:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it”
The Last Supper (Mark Chapter 14)
So the two disciples went on ahead into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover supper there. In the evening Jesus arrived with the twelve disciples. As they were sitting around the table eating, Jesus said, “The truth is, one of you will betray Me, one of you who is here eating with Me.” Greatly distressed, one by one they began to ask Him, “I’m not the one, am I?” He replied, “It is one of you twelve, one who is eating with Me now. For I, the Son of Man, must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for My betrayer. Far better for him if he had never been born!“
As they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and asked God’s blessing on it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is My body.” And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood, poured out for many, sealing the covenant between God and His people. I solemnly declare that I will not drink wine again until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”
Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
And they came to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.“
He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be filled with horror and deep distress. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with Me.“He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting Him might pass him by.”Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will, not Mine.“Then He returned and found the disciples asleep.
“Simon!” He said to Peter. “Are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay awake and watch with Me even one hour? Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak.“
Then Jesus left them again and prayed, repeating His pleadings. Again He returned to them and found them sleeping, for they just couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say. When He returned to them the third time, He said, “Still sleeping? Still resting? Enough! The time has come. I, the Son of Man, am betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. See, My betrayer is here!”Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested. And immediately, as He said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a mob that was armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent out by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law and the other leaders. Judas had given them a prearranged signal:
“You will know which one to arrest when I go over and give Him the kiss of greeting. Then you can take Him away under guard.“
As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Teacher!” he exclaimed, and gave Him the kiss. Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But someone pulled out a sword and slashed off an ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous criminal, that you come armed with swords and clubs to arrest Me? Why didn’t you arrest Me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about Me.“
Meanwhile, all His disciples deserted Him and ran away. There was a young man following along behind, clothed only in a linen nightshirt. When the mob tried to grab him, they tore off his clothes, but he escaped and ran away naked.
Jesus is Crucified (Mark Chapter 15 )
So Pilate, anxious to please the crowd, released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify Him. They dressed Him in a purple robe and made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on His head. Then they saluted, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they beat Him on the head with a stick, spit on Him and dropped to their knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him again. Then they led Him away to be crucified. A man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the country just then, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Hill). They offered Him wine drugged with myrrh, but He refused it. Then they nailed Him to the cross. They gambled for His clothes, throwing dice to decide who would get them. It was nine o’clock in the morning when the crucifixion took place. A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against Him. It read: “The King of the Jews.” Two criminals were crucified with Him, their crosses on either side of His. And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at Him. “You can destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, can you? Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but He can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe Him!” Even the two criminals who were being crucified with Jesus ridiculed Him.
Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed His last. And the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing Him saw how He had died, he exclaimed, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph) and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for Him while He was in Galilee. Then they and many other women had come with Him to Jerusalem.
The Burial of Jesus
This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, an honored member of the high council, Joseph from Arimathea (who was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come), gathered his courage and went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body. Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman military officer in charge and asked him. The officer confirmed the fact, and Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth, and taking Jesus’ body down from the cross, he wrapped it in the cloth and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock.
Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.
The Resurrection – Jesus Is Risen! (Mark Chapter 16 )
The next evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Salome and Mary the mother of James went out and purchased burial spices to put on Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they came to the tomb. On the way they were discussing who would roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb. But when they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone – a very large one – had already been rolled aside. So they entered the tomb, and there on the right sat a young man clothed in a white robe. The women were startled, but the angel said, “Do not be so surprised. You are looking for Jesus, the Nazarene, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead! Look, this is where they laid His body. Now go and give this message to His disciples, including Peter: Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there, just as He told you before He died!” The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, saying nothing to anyone because they were too frightened to talk.
It was early on Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the dead, and the first person who saw Him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and found the disciples, who were grieving and weeping. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen Him, they didn’t believe her.
Afterward He appeared to two who were walking from Jerusalem into the country, but they didn’t recognize Him at first because He had changed His appearance. When they realized who He was, they rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them.
Still later He appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their unbelief – their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in My name, and they will speak new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them.“
When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked with them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.
God loves you so much that He send His son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. After His ressurection and ascension into heaven, He sent His Spirit to live in our lives and empower us to live the abundant life. But we must personally ask Him into our lives to be our Lord and Savior. If you are sincere about asking Him into your life, why don’t you pray the suggested prayer below:
(Prayer is talking to God. God knows your heart and is not as concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart.)
Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.
UPDATED 01-01-10: 10 “GOOD LUCK” FOODS TO EAT ON NEW YEAR’S DAY AND OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT NEW YEAR’S…
UPDATED: Friday, January 1, 2010 4:39 PM (My original post follows my update)
I’m so happy that 2010 is here! This year, we have the power to change it back to where we have the upper hand. We’d all be wise to remember that…
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For as long as I can remember, I have never let a new year begin without consuming the traditional Southern good-luck triad of peas with pork, greens, and cornbread. “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold,” said the old expression. “Eat poor on New Year’s, and eat fat the rest of the year,” echoed the refrain. This practice was learned at the family table, handed down for generations. Over the years, I’ve learned subtle variations on what I believed – for example, a penny should be placed under each person’s bowl of black-eyed peas to boost the luck potential. Hog jowl should cook with the peas and smoked bacon with the collards; more pork equals more luck. Some golden cheese and bits of corn in the cornbread intensifies the prospects. As I learned more about world cuisines through the years, it became apparent that every culture has its own traditions of good-luck foods, meant to ensure abundance and prosperity in the coming year. When you examine the different rules around the world, similarities begin to emerge.
One thing to consider is that the dates of the celebrations change around the world, whether New Year’s is based on the calendar used, on harvest or seasonal dates, or on religious influence. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is in the fall. Buddhist countries vary widely. In Theravadin Buddhist countries (Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos), the new year is celebrated in April. That’s the hottest part of their year, an ideal time to purify deities and splash a lot of water on each other in the process. Tibetan Buddhists generally celebrate it in March, and in Mahayana Buddhist countries, the new year usually starts on the first full moon day in January. In Iran it’s usually celebrated on March 21.
Most of the good-luck foods around the world are supposed to be eaten on New Year’s Day, not New Year’s Eve (although the seconds right after midnight are considered fair game). In the Philippines, you need to have the table covered with as many dishes as possible at the stroke of midnight. The intent is for the good-luck dishes to be the first thing eaten right from the start, setting the standard and providing luck for the coming year. Regardless of the date used, the first day of the new year is a time of celebration and propitious food.
Prosperity and Abundance
Universal among good-luck foods is symbolism, sometimes subtle, sometimes more obvious. Often the shape or color of a food looks like money, which is why cabbage or greens are so common in many traditions. Not every country has green currency, but green is the symbolic color of hope, and green is a color associated with natural growth: the new buds of a tree or new shoots in a rice field, for example. Collard greens (or kale, chard, mustard, or turnip greens) symbolize money in the South, cabbage and sauerkraut are eaten in Europe, and lettuce in some parts of China. They eat foods wrapped in lettuce during the Chinese New Year because the word for lettuce is similar to the word for “rising fortune.” In Bosnia and Croatia, minced beef is rolled inside large cabbage leaves to make sarma, said to bring health and wealth.
Dried beans and peas are very popular because their shape loosely resembles a coin. More importantly, they swell up when they cook, greatly increasing their volume, much as you want your wealth to expand during the coming year. In the South, it’s black-eyed peas cooked with salted hog jowl. Some believe you’re supposed to eat one pea for each day of the coming year. In Italy and Brazil, lentils are eaten with pork sausages; rice cakes stuffed with sweet red beans are popular in Japan and Cambodia, and red bean dumplings in China.
Rice is also popular worldwide. The many grains signify abundance, while rice greatly increases volume when it cooks, all pointing toward growth in the coming year. In Korea, rice-cake soup is the preferred dish; eating a bowl is thought to add one full year to your life. Japanese eat cakes made from pounded sticky rice called mochi, topped with a bitter orange called daidai. The orange makes the dish doubly lucky because “daidai” also means “several generations.”
One popular New Year’s Day Southern American dish is “Hoppin’ John,” triple-blessed since it includes black-eyed peas, rice, and ham hock. A shiny dime is often thrown into the Hoppin’ John cooking pot, and the person getting the dime in their bowl is due an extra portion of good luck. On the day after New Year’s Day, leftover “Hoppin’ John” becomes “Skippin’ Jenny,” and eating it demonstrates powerful frugality, bringing one even better chances of prosperity.
Noodles are another food that swells in size and increases yield as it cooks, signifying abundance and prosperity. In China, uncut long noodles are desirable on New Year’s Day. It is critically important to suck each strand of noodle into your mouth without breaking the strand. Long noodles signify long life and longevity; breaking the strand shortens life. In Japan they substitute long soba noodles for long life on New Year’s Eve.
Live Like the Animals
Nothing expresses prosperity in non-Jewish and non-Muslim cultures like the pig. Pigs root going forward, symbolizing progress without dwelling on the past. Pigs can feast on scraps, bear many young, and yield lots of meat, much of which can be preserved for later consumption; fatty meat equals a fat wallet. In Austria and Hungary, roast suckling pig is the dish of choice, while many cultures include sausages and ham. Pork is also featured in many Vietnamese Tet celebration dishes, especially their luscious headcheese.
Incidentally, lobster is almost universally avoided since it walks backward. That is contradicted in Japan, where New Year’s lobster decorations are prized; the lobster’s curved back resembles an elderly person’s posture, symbolizing a wish for longevity. For the same reason, chickens are seldom included on the New Year’s platter. They move backward when they scratch, which could mean regret, and you might be scratching around for money like a chicken scratches for food on the ground. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away like a bird.
Fish, especially those bearing silver scales, are thought to be very lucky foods for New Year’s since they symbolize silver and wealth. In Germany, carp is considered fortuitous, and some people will remove several of the scales and keep them in their wallets during the coming year for good luck. Pickled herring is a lucky food for midnight there and in Poland; in Denmark it’s boiled cod with mustard sauce. In Sweden, the New Year’s smorgasbord always has a variety of fish dishes for luck. In Japan, herring roe is eaten on New Year’s for fertility, shrimp for longevity, and dried sardines for a good harvest. In China, cooked whole fish signify continuity and longevity. In Vietnam, a whole carp is cooked, as the carp is thought to carry the god of good luck on its back. Hungary is the only anti-fish country known. They refuse to eat fish on New Year’s because it means that your money could swim away or become slippery.
From the Hearth
Lucky baked goods are popular worldwide. Going back to pre-Christian days, ring-shaped breads and cakes were always considered fortunate because they signified continuity by “coming full circle.” Many cultures today make special cakes or sweets around New Year’s in round shapes which symbolize coins. Often they are incredibly sweet, with the thought that overindulgence (or oversweetening) stands for a wish for abundance. Armenia has their darin: a large flat bread baked with a coin inside; whoever gets the piece with the coin is assured good luck for the coming year. The French indulge in a stack of sweet crepes for good luck.
For the Greeks, the most important New Year’s dish is the vassilopitta or St. Basil’s cake. Inside the cake is placed a coin, and the cake is distributed in a strict order. The first piece is for St. Basil, the second for the house, the next for the oldest member of the household, following down to the youngest member. Whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake will be lucky for the next year. In Holland, they feast on olie bollen, which are round puffed doughnuts filled with apples, raisins, and currants.In Italy, there are many sweet treats for the season, but the most interesting might be an almond-filled cake baked in the shape of a snake. The theory is that as the snake sheds its skin, it symbolizes leaving the past year behind.
Most Latin countries celebrate the Feast of Epiphany on Jan. 6, or Twelfth Night. In Mexico, the King’s Cake (rosca de reyes) is served. The cake is baked in a ring to resemble a crown and decorated with candied fruit, with a small doll hidden in the batter. Whoever finds the doll becomes the king for the day and must select a queen. The royal couple then must host a party on Candlemas (Feb. 2), to light candles for purification of the Virgin Mary. Sweden and Norway have no shortage of baked goods, but they do have a tradition of hiding a whole almond in rice pudding; whoever gets the almond is assured great fortune in the coming year.
In Scotland, where New Year’s is called “Hogmanay,” they have the “first footing” tradition, where the first person to cross your threshold after the stroke of midnight determines your luck for the coming year. The “first footer” brings symbolic gifts such as a lump of coal to keep the house warm or baked goods such as scones, currant loaf, oat cakes, or a mincemeat and shortbread crust cake called “black bun” to make sure the household always has food. Three-cornered cookies called Hogmanays are also eaten for good luck. In Switzerland, things are much simpler. A large dollop of whipped cream is dropped on the kitchen floor as a symbol of surplus food and wealth.
The Fruits of Your Labor
Fruits play a role in global good-luck foods, as well. In China, tangerines and mandarin oranges are considered auspicious fruits because they are round and golden like the sun. Symbols of abundant happiness, they are given as gifts and used for decoration. In Vietnam, the watermelon is the ultimate New Year’s fruit because the meat is red, the luckiest color. The seeds are also dyed red and toasted, to be eaten as snacks. Vietnamese families have a tray of five fruits on their altar including banana, orange, kumquat, pomelo, and finger citron. Each symbolizes a different meaning: Pomelos promise a lucky year, banana and finger citron symbolize a protective hand, while kumquats and oranges represent wealth and success.
In Southern Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean, pomegranates are considered lucky because of their bright red color and the shape of the seeds, which represent wealth and prosperity. In Israel, apple slices are dipped into honey, and all bitter foods and fruits are avoided.
One of the more interesting lucky fruit traditions is the practice in most Hispanic countries of eating 12 grapes, one with each stroke of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve, one for each month. The sweetness of each grape will determine how good that particular month will be. Some wash them down with wine, some name each month before the grape is eaten, but remembering which sour months to avoid is the hard part, and they must all be eaten by the final stroke of the clock. In Peru, they insist on eating a 13th grape for good measure.
Armed with this wide-ranging cornucopia of global good-luck foods, I can now greatly expand the reach of my New Year’s food blessings. No more will I rely solely on peas, greens, and cornbread to provide my luck for the coming year. With a whole world of symbolic dishes in front of me, can that winning Mega Millions or Lotto ticket be far behind?
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Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On! Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce Brazilian: Feliz Natal Bengali: Shubho borodin Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Chinese (Cantonese): Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw SunChinese (Mandarin): Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan (Catonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth Corsian: Pace e salute Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi Croatian: Sretan Bozic Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar! Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad Finnish: Hyvaa joulua Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar French: Joyeux Noel Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier! Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Galician: Bo Nada
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr! German: Froehliche Weihnachten Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Greenlandic: Juullimi Pilluaritsi!
German: Froehliche Weihnachten
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Lao: souksan van Christmas Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum! Latvian: Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno Gadu! Lausitzian:Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un ‘n moi Nijaar
: Merry Keshmish
Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul
Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado
: Bon Pasco
Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Philipines: Maligayan Pasko!
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
(Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Romanian: Craciun Fericit
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
: Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Serbian: Hristos se rodi
Slovakian: Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Scots Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serbian: Hristos se rodi.
Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tami: Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Trukeese (Micronesian): Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
: Srozhdestvom Kristovym or Z RIZDVOM HRYSTOVYM
Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
: E ku odun, e ku iye’dun!
Yugoslavian: Cestitamo Bozic
‘The Nativity Story’
One day about 2000 years ago, an Angel of the Lord called Gabriel told Mary she would have a very special baby that she should call Jesus.
Mary married Joseph and he took her to Bethlehem so they could pay their taxes. Mary was expecting to have her baby very soon.
When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem there were no rooms left in the Inns because the town was very busy. They were worried because they had nowhere to sleep and Mary was tired because the journey had been long and dusty. She felt sore from riding on a donkey.
But a kind innkeeper said they could shelter in the Inn manger, where animals like sheep were kept overnight to stop them from straying.
Mary knew the baby would be born soon, so she was very glad to be able to rest in the manger. The manger was a small room like a cellar at the bottom of the Inn. It was strewn with straw for the animals and the animals made friends with Mary and Joseph who settled down for the night as best they could.
In the night Mary had her baby.
Joseph and Mary called the baby Jesus just like the angel told them they should. They put baby Jesus in some swaddling clothes so he was wrapped up warm and snug. Then they put some straw for a bed in a small wooden manger that animals fed from and put Jesus inside it.
A very bright great star shone over the manger and they were all covered in light.
It was a very starry night and the local shepherds were looking after their sheep in the fields. The Angel of the Lord told them Jesus was born and that he would be a Saviour of men. So as soon as they heard about the birth of Jesus they hurried to see Mary and Joseph to wonder at Jesus.
The 3 kings took Jesus gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. These were very valuable gifts in those days. Gold could be used to buy things and the frankincense and myrrh were used for medicine and perfume.
Jesus Christ was the Son of God and grew to be a very special man indeed.
This story is the real story of why we celebrate Christmas today, to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ who 33 years later died on the cross to save our souls from our sins. This celebration is named after Jesus Christ as the Mass of Christ or Christmas.
We give presents to those we love just like the 3 wise men did and because Jesus was special we keep this as a special celebratory time of year every year.
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
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