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 like we began the Fall: with snow. This symmetry is relevant as the beginning of Spring and Fall coincide with the Equinox. This word is comprised of two Latin root words, aequus and nox, meaning “equal night,” referring…Read More
History of St. Patrick: Was he British?
HISTORY OF ST PATRICK’S DAY Although much of the life of the patron saint and Apostle of Ireland is shrouded in legend, St. Patrick was probably born around the year AD 389. Stories are told of the many contests Patrick had with Druids, pagans, and polytheists, as well as the well-known but unlikely story of…Read More
History of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste: Roman Empire vs. Christian Soldiers
HISTORY OF THE 40 MARTYRS OF SEBASTE A curious occurrence happened on this date 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…Read More
Movie Review: Jesus Revolution
Movie Review: Jesus Revolution Growing up in California during the ’60s and ’70s allowed me to be both an observer of and a participant in the Jesus Revolution. Historical Synopsis: The Jesus Revolution — alternately known as the Jesus Movement, Jesus People, or the somewhat pejorative Jesus Freaks — was a spiritual awakening with…Read More
History of Amazing Grace, part 2: William Wilberforce
HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 2: William Wilberforce As I mentioned in my first article on the History of Amazing Grace, this is the story of the lives of two men and that one song. In the first part, we discussed the life of the song’s author, John Newton. However, the 2007 film “Amazing Grace”…Read More
History of Amazing Grace, part 1
HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 1 On February 23, 1807, the British parliament passed a bill banning the nation’s slave trade. In these two articles, we’ll explore the lives of two men and one song that played a significant role in that effort. John Newton‘s devoted Christian mother dreamed that her only son would grow…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 repentance, in the service prescribed for the day. It follows Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday, and ends with Easter 40 days later, not counting Sundays. Lutheran,…Read More
History of Mardi Gras: Why is it called Fat Tuesday?
HISTORY OF MARDI GRAS In French, Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday.” It 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” — so…Read More
History of Shrove Monday: Ahead of Mardi Gras
HISTORY OF SHROVE MONDAY The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Monday. The three days before Ash Wednesday are known as “Shrovetide,” starting with Quinquagesima Sunday and ending on Shrove Tuesday, a day more popularly known as Mardi Gras. Quinquagesima meant the fiftieth day before Easter, specifically the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday,…Read More
History of St. Valentine’s Day
HISTORY OF ST. VALENTINE’S DAY The day we associate with love and romance has a history that traces back almost three millennia to ancient Rome but winds through Roman North Africa, England, and the United States. St. Valentine was martyred on February 14. However, Valentine or Valentinus is the name of at least three martyred saints.…Read More
History of February
HISTORY OF FEBRUARY February is the month we love to misspell, or at least mispronounce, but you’re forgiven for dropping the first “r” as dissimilation causes people to do that when there are two “r”s or “l”s near each other in a word. The name came from the Latin Februa an ancient Roman purification festival around…Read More
History of Martin Luther King, Jr.: His life, dream, and legacy
HISTORY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Born on January 15, 1929, we celebrate a holiday in honor of a man who was not a president, an explorer, or a saint. Instead, he was a Baptist minister and an American leader of the 1960s civil rights movement named after the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther after his…Read More