Behold! the angels said, ‘Oh Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter, and in (the company of) those nearest to God.
– Qur’an 3:45
Nativity, Gerard von Honthorst (1590-1656)
Today we celebrate Jesus Christ’s 2011th birthday.
We don’t know the year Jesus was born. But it’s believed he …Read more
The fourth Sunday before Christmas marks the beginning of the liturgical calendar in much of the Western Church. Advent Sunday corresponds to the Sunday nearest Saint Andrew’s Day (November 30).
Advent comes from the Latin Adventus,meaning ‘arrival’. During Advent Christians prepare for both the anniversary the birth of Christ, as celebrated on December 25, and the anticipation of the Second Coming.
The first records of what we now call Advent date from 5th and 6th …Read more
It’s a busy week in the Czech Republic, where inhabitants celebrate not one, but two public holidays in honor of not two, but three prominent theologians. Yesterday Czechs and Slovaks alike honored the Saints Cyril and Methodius, and today Czechs recall national hero Jan Hus, the forerunner of Protestant Reformation who was burnt at the stake on this day in 1415.
Statue of Jan Hus in Prague
The late 14th century was …Read more
April 4, 2010 April 24, 2011 April 8, 2012 Despite the overwhelming secular popularity of Christmas in the Western world, the big daddy of all Christian holidays is actually Easter. It’s the oldest Christian holiday and the most important.
No one knows for sure how the term Easter came to be. It probably derived from Oestre, the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Fertility and New Life. Which helps to explain why we still celebrate the resurrection with bunny rabbits and …Read more
April 21, 2011; April 1, 2010; April 9, 2009
Holy Week — Now that’s a name. It makes sense. It’s holy. It’s a week.
But some of the names of the individual days of the week…
Good Friday remembers the day Christ was crucified and killed. So whoever was in charge of naming either had a morbid sense of irony or put an extra ‘o’ in God, and the name stuck.
Easter, the cornerstone the Christian calendar, the …Read more