Posts Tagged ‘sacred_holiday’

Science of the Summer Solstice

SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE The word Solstice comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “Sun, standing-still.” This year the Summer Solstice occurs on June 21 at 05:45 UTC, or Coordinated Universal Time, or Zulu Time, or roughly Greenwich Mean Time. This is also known as the Northern Solstice as the Sun is positioned directly above…

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History of Passover

PASSOVER This year, the evening at sunset April 19 marks the beginning of Passover. Exodus 12 in the Bible tells the story of Passover from the life of Moses. Ten plagues were visited upon the Egyptian pharaoh (starring Yul Brenner, but he was much better in “The King and I”) to get his attention to…

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History of Maundy Thursday

MAUNDY THURSDAY Amid the bustle of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, Maundy Thursday is easy to overlook. Few calendars label it, and some churches don’t observe it at all, though it may be the oldest of the Holy Week observances. It’s worth asking why, and how, generations of Christians have revered this day. The…

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History of Herod Antipas

HEROD ANTIPAS Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great (whom we met in the Christmas story) and Malthake. After his father’s death in 4 B.C. he was made tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea in Trans-Jordan. Like his father, he was a lover of great and artistic architectural works, and built the beautiful Tiberias…

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Historical Climate of Easter

HISTORICAL CLIMATE OF EASTER What was the historical climate surrounding the last week of the life of Jesus of Nazareth? This man born to die, not just in the normal sense, but in some special sense, entered Jerusalem amidst a torrent of political, social and economic turbulence. The events in Palestine at this time are…

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History of Palm Sunday

PALM SUNDAY The week we now call Holy Week, started with Palm Sunday. Why was this week so important that three of the gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) devote a full third of their contents to reporting this week, and The Fourth Gospel (John) dedicates its entire last half? Jerusalem, which had a normal…

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History of St. Valentine’s Day

ST. VALENTINE’S DAY Valentine or Valentinus, is the name of at least three martyred saints. The most celebrated are the two martyrs whose festivals fall on February 14, the one, a Roman priest, the other, bishop of Terni. It would appear from the legends that both lived during the reign of the Emperor Claudius (Gothicus);…

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