feasts & festivals

G340/0158

Who Are the Real Defenders of Humanity?

The latest advances in science and biotechnology (three-parenting, surrogate motherhood, human enhancement, hybridizing of humans and animals…) have now and again encountered opposition from Christians (and, in varying degrees, from other religious believers), as well as from secular critics for moral, ethical, and legal reasons (the last-mentioned rather half-heartedly in a number of countries recently). [...]

Raising a Festive Glass on the Feast of St. John

“Can you drink the cup that I will drink?” (Matt 20:22). This is the question Jesus posed to St. John the Evangelist and his brother, James, as they and their mother petition for seats on his right and on his left. Though not a martyr, several traditions affirm that John did suffer from persecution, though [...]

The Proper Way to Celebrate Holidays

According to a Nielsen survey conducted a few years ago, the 5th and 7th biggest beer-drinking holidays in America are Christmas and Easter respectively. That year, Americans consumed 59,393,752 cases of beer at Christmas and 53,458,630 cases on Easter. I find this strange because Christmas and Easter are the two seminal feasts on the Christian calendar, yet [...]

Keeping the Feast: The Unity of Faith & Life

My friend Jeremiah sent me a link to the music video for the song “Dégénération,” by the French-Canadian band Mes Aïeux. In the video, an elderly Québécois farmer shovels dirt from a pile into a wheelbarrow before trudging deliberately down the furrows of a field to meet a slightly younger woman who scoops some into [...]

Why Catholics Give the Best Parties

  This essay first appeared in the July 2001 issue of Crisis Magazine. Postmodern man-- and postmodern woman-- doesn’t know how to give a good party. It’s up to us Catholics to reclaim this lost art and share it with the world. Why? Because good parties are intrinsic to our Catholic faith. The liturgical year [...]

Catholics Give the Best Parties

Postmodern man -- and postmodern woman -- don't know how to give a good party. It's up to Catholics to reclaim this lost art and share it with the world. Why? Because good parties are intrinsic to our Catholic faith. The liturgical year is punctuated with a wide array of feast days and celebrations, many [...]

Give Us Back Our Feast Days

These past two years, Catholics in England haven't celebrated Ascension Day. This has meant the breaking of a tradition stretching back more than a thousand years. Even during penal times, when the Faith was persecuted, this 40th day after Easter was marked as a holy day, and all who could manage it went to Mass, [...]

Our Lady of Ransom

The revival of the Catholic Faith in England in the 19th century saw the establishment of various feasts and traditions, in the conscious desire to restore and revive things that had been lost. One such feast day was that of Our Lady of Ransom. This ancient medieval title was restored to Mary, and a Guild [...]

Sense & Nonsense: Fighting For Christmas

In G.K. Chesterton's essay, "Dickens and Christmas," we read that "in fighting for Christmas, he [Dickens] was fighting for the old European festival, Pagan and Christian, for that trinity of eating, drinking and praying which to moderns appears irreverent, for the holy day which is really a holiday." What strikes me about this particular passage [...]

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