Easter

History of The Spring: What is the Vernal Equinox?

HISTORY OF THE SPRING In Colorado we have a saying, we begin the first day of Spring in the same way we began the Fall: with snow. This symmetry is relevant as both the beginning of Spring and Fall coincide with the Equinox. This word is made up of two Latin root words aequus and…

Read More

History of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste: Roman Empire vs. Christian Soldiers

40 Martyrs

HISTORY OF THE 40 MARTYRS OF SEBASTE A curious occurrence happened in the early 4th century Roman Empire. The early church historian Bishop Eusebius tells the story of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who before a battle against his rival Emperor Maxentius in 312 AD at the Milvian Bridge outside of Rome, had either a dream…

Read More

History of Ash Wednesday: Where does the Ash come from?

HISTORY OF ASH WEDNESDAY In the Western church, the first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday from the ceremonial use of ashes, as a symbol of penitence, in the service prescribed for the day. It follows Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday, and ends 40 days later with Easter. The custom is still…

Read More

History of Mardi Gras: Why is it called Fat Tuesday?

HISTORY OF MARDI GRAS In French, Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” and is celebrated the day after Shrove Monday and the day before Ash Wednesday as a last “fling” before the 40 days of self-denial of Lent which precede Easter. Lent is a word that comes from the Middle English word “lente” which means “springtime” —…

Read More

History of Shrove Monday

Shrovetide Football

HISTORY OF SHROVE MONDAY The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Monday. The three days before Ash Wednesday is also known as “Shrovetide,” starting with Quinquagesima Sunday and ending on Shrove Tuesday, known more popularly as Mardi Gras. Quinquagesima meant the fiftieth day before Easter, or specifically the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday…

Read More

History of March

HISTORY OF MARCH The month that can come in “like a lion and out like a lamb” is named after the Roman god of war (and agriculture) Mars. March or Martius as it was known in ancient Rome is the first month of Spring and was considered a favorable season for travel, planting, or to begin…

Read More

History of Easter: The Players: Where are they Now?

HISTORY OF EASTER: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PLAYERS AFTERWARD You may be asking yourself, “Self,” you ask, “where are they now?” And well you might ask. What happened to our players AFTER the events in the Easter story? HEROD ANTIPAS You may remember that I had said Antipas‘ taking as his own wife his brother’s…

Read More

History of Good Friday

HISTORY OF GOOD FRIDAY For centuries, pilgrims have walked the Via Dolorosa, “the way of sorrow” in Jerusalem, following the path Jesus took on Good Friday. Starting at the judgment seat of Pilate at the Antonia in the eastern part of the city immediately north of the Temple the path follows several “stations of the…

Read More

History of the Trial: How many did Jesus have?

THE TRIAL OF JESUS Beginning Thursday night and extending into Friday morning of Holy Week, the Trial of Jesus which led to his crucifixion was, in reality, a series of almost half a dozen trials, which were distributed across several locations in Jerusalem. Some of these locations are captured in the tradition of the Via Dolorosa,…

Read More