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APRIL CALENDAR

April 1   - All Fools' Day

April 2   - Good Friday

April 2   - Pascua Florida Day

April 4   - Easter

April 5   - Easter Monday

April 13 - Thomas Jefferson's Birthday

April 19 - Patriots Day (Maine, Mass.)

April 21 - San Jacinto Day (Tex.)

April 22 - Earth Day

April 23 - St. Georges' Day (N.L., Can.)

April 24 - Birthday of Roobert B. Thomas, Founder of the Old Farmer's Almanac

April 28 - Full Pink Moon

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KathyS
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APRIL CALENDAR - POST #1 - Origin of April Fool's Day

Article April Fools Day - Origin

Type: Annual celebration.
Summary: A discussion of theories about the origin of April Fool’s Day.

Introduction

In 1708 a correspondent wrote in to the British Apollo magazine to ask, “Whence proceeds the custom of making April Fools?” The question is one that many people are still asking today.

 

 

The puzzle that April Fool’s Day presents to cultural historians is that it was only during the eighteenth century that detailed references to it (and curiosity about it) began to appear. But at that time, the custom was already well established throughout northern Europe and was regarded as being of great antiquity. How had the tradition been adopted by so many different European cultures without provoking more comments in the written record?

 

 

References to April Fool’s Day can be found as early as the 1500s. However, these early references were infrequent and tended to be vague and ambiguous. Shakespeare, writing in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, made no mention of April Fool’s Day, despite being, as Charles Dickens Jr. put it, a writer who “delights in fools in general.” 

 

 

Many theories have been put forward about how the tradition began. Unfortunately, none of them are very compelling. So the origin of the “custom of making April Fools” remains as much a mystery to us as it was back in 1708.

The Calendar-Change Theory


A French “April Fish” postcard.
The most popular theory about the origin of April Fool’s Day involves the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century.

 

 

The theory goes like this: In 1564 France reformed its calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. Those who failed to keep up with the change, who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were thus called Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish—which, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools—and so the tradition was born.

The calendar-change hypothesis seems, on the surface, like a logical explanation for the origin of April Fools. However, the hypothesis becomes less plausible if we examine the history of calendar reform in more detail.

 

 

The Julian Calendar

The Julian Calendar, established by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, made January 1 the first day of the year. But as Christianity spread throughout Europe, efforts were made to christianize the calendar by moving New Year’s Day to dates of greater theological significance, such as Christmas or Easter. Some countries continued to use January 1, justifying this as the date of Christ’s circumcision. As a consequence, by the 1500s the European calendar system was a mess. Not only had errors in the Julian calendar caused the solar year to diverge from the calendar year, but also countries were beginning the year on different dates.

 

 

Most regions in France had been using Easter as the start of the year since at least the fourteenth century. This caused particular confusion since the date of Easter was tied to the lunar cycle and changed from one year to the next. Sometimes the same date would occur twice in a year.

 

 

However, the French used Easter as the start of the year primarily for legal and administrative purposes. January 1, following the Roman custom, was widely regarded as the traditional start of the year, and it was the day when people exchanged gifts.

 

 

Sixteenth-Century Reform

The practice of starting the year on Easter Day caused enormous practical inconvenience, so around 1500 many people in France began to use January 1 as the start of the calendar year. For instance, in early sixteenth-century French books, it is common to see both forms of dating listed side-by-side (for titles published in January, February, or March). By the mid-sixteenth century, a calendar system beginning on January 1 was in wide use in France.

 

 

In 1563 King Charles IX decreed January 1 to be the first day of the year, thus aligning legal convention with what had become the popular practice. His edict was passed into law by the French Parliament on Dec. 22, 1564.

 

 

Eighteen years later, in 1582, Pope Gregory issued a papal bull decreeing sweeping calendar reform. The Gregorian reform included moving the start of the year to January 1, as well as creating a leap-year system and eliminating ten days from the month of October 1582 in order to correct the drift of the calendar. The Pope had no formal power to make governments accept this reform, but he urged Christian nations to do so. France immediately accepted the reform, although it had already changed the start of the year in 1564. (Many histories of April Fool’s Day mistakenly suggest that France only moved the start of the year in 1582 when it accepted the Gregorian calendar reform in its entirety.)

 

 

With this history in mind, it becomes clear that the calendar-change hypothesis is a problematic explanation for the origin of April Fool’s Day. The switch to January 1 did not occur suddenly in France. It was a gradual process, spanning an entire century. And even before the switch, the French New Year had no obvious connection to April 1st.

 

 

British Calendar Change

The calendar-change hypothesis is more plausible if applied to Britain, because it was the British, not the French, who observed New Year’s Day on March 25 (the date of the christian Feast of Annunciation), followed by a week of festivities culminating on April 1. In fact, the earliest version of the calendar-change hypothesis to be found in print, dating from 1766, does place the argument in a British context. A correspondent to the Gentleman’s Magazine in April 1766 wrote:

“The strange custom prevalent throughout this kingdom, of people making fools of one another upon the first of April, arose from the year formerly beginning, as to some purpose, and in some respects, on the twenty-fifth of March, which was supposed to be the incarnation of our Lord; it being customary with the Romans, as well as with us, to hold a festival, attended by an octave, at the commencement of the new year—which festival lasted for eight days, whereof the first and last were the principal; therefore the first of April is the octave of the twenty-fifth of March, and, consequently, the close or ending of the feast, which was both the festival of the Annunciation and the beginning of the new year.”

 

 

Britain only changed the start of its calendar year to January 1 in 1752. By this time April Fool’s Day was already a well-established tradition. So confusion about the calendar change could not have been responsible for the origin of the custom in Britain. But it is possible, as the correspondent to Gentleman’s Magazine speculated, that the festival held on April 1 (the “octave” of the March 25th calendar year change) evolved into April Fool’s Day. However, this is pure speculation, undermined by the lack of any other compelling evidence that the custom originated in Britain. The earliest unambiguous references to April Fool’s Day actually come from continental Europe, suggesting it is there that April Fool’s Day began.

 

 

Early References

Pre-eighteenth century references to April Fool’s Day provide clues about where the custom originated. Unfortunately, many of these references are ambiguous, and their significance is difficult to determine

 

.

1392: Chaucer

What is possibly the first reference to April Fool’s Day can be found in the work of Chaucer. Unfortunately, the reference is so ambiguous as to be worthless as historical evidence.

In the Nun’s Priest’s Tale (written around 1392), Chaucer tells the story of the vain cock Chauntecler who falls for the tricks of a fox, and as a consequence is almost eaten. The narrator describes the tale as occurring:

When that the monthe in which the world bigan
That highte March, whan God first maked man,
Was complet, and passed were also
Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two

 

 

This passage has caused enormous confusion among Chaucer scholars, since it appears to be self-contradictory. Does it mean the events occur thirty-two days (“thritty dayes and two”) after March “was complet” (i.e. May 3), or thirty-two days “Syn March bigan” (since March began), i.e. April 1? If the latter interpretation is correct, the tale takes place on April Fool’s Day, which seems appropriate for a story of a foolish cock and sly fox. Could Chaucer have chosen this date purposefully, setting the tale on April 1st because of the tradition of tricks and foolery associated with the day?

 

 

Most editors of Chaucer don’t think so. The most popular interpretation of this passage is that Chaucer meant May 3, so editors often change the text to read “Syn March [was gon]”. However, the historian Peter Travis has argued that Chaucer did not intend to provide a precise date at all, but was instead purposefully using confusing language in order to parody the language of Medieval philosophy.

Whatever Chaucer may have meant, we can’t conclude, based on these few lines, that he was aware of a custom of playing pranks on April 1st.

 

 

1508: Eloy d’Amerval

The next possible reference to April Fool’s Day we find is in a 1508 poem written by Eloy d’Amerval, a French choirmaster and composer. The poem is titled Le livre de la deablerie. According to Wikipedia, it consists of “a dialogue between Satan and Lucifer, in which their nefarious plotting of future evil deeds is interrupted periodically by the author, who among other accounts of earthly and divine virtue, records useful information on contemporary musical practice.”

 

 

The poem would only be of interest to historians of music, except that it includes the line, “maquereau infâme de maint homme et de mainte femme, poisson d’avril.”

The phrase “poisson d’avril” (April Fish) is the French term for an April Fool, but it is unclear whether d’Amerval’s use of the term referred to April 1st specifically. He might have intended the phrase simply to mean a foolish person.

 

 

1539: Eduard de Dene

The Flemish writer Eduard De Dene published a comical poem in 1539 about a nobleman who hatches a plan to send his servant back and forth on absurd errands on April 1st, supposedly to help prepare for a wedding feast. The servant recognizes that what’s being done to him is an April 1st joke. The poem is titled “Refereyn vp verzendekens dach / Twelck den eersten April te zyne plach.” This is late medieval Dutch meaning (roughly) “Refrain on errand-day / which is the first of April.” In the closing line of each stanza, the servant says, “I am afraid… that you are trying to make me run a fool’s errand.” (Thanks to Marco Langbroek for the Dutch translation.)

At last, what we have here is a fairly clear reference to a custom of playing practical jokes on April 1st. So we can say that April Fool’s Day dates back at least to the sixteenth century. Because of this reference (and the other, vague French reference), historians believe that April Fool’s Day must have originated in continental northern Europe and then spread to Britain.

 

 

1632: Escape of the Duke of Lorraine

According to legend, the Duke of Lorraine and his wife were imprisoned at Nantes. They escaped on April 1, 1632 by disguising themselves as peasants and walking through the front gate. Someone noticed them escaping and told the guards. But the guards believed the warning to be a “poisson d’Avril” (or April Fool’s Day joke) and laughed at it, thus allowing the Duke and his wife to escape.

It is not known if any part of this legend is true.

 

 

1686: John Aubrey

The English antiquarian John Aubrey collected many notes about popular customs and superstitions, as research for a contemplated work to be titled, Remains of Gentilism and Judaism. In 1686 he wrote, “Fooles holy day. We observe it on ye first of April. And so it is kept in Germany everywhere.” The collected notes were published posthumously.

So by the late seventeenth century, April Fool’s Day had definitely spread to Britain.

 

 

1698: Washing the Lions 

The April 2, 1698 edition of Dawks’s News-Letter (a British newspaper) reported that “Yesterday being the first of April, several persons were sent to the Tower Ditch to see the Lions washed.” Sending gullible victims to the Tower of London to see the “washing of the lions” (a non-existent ceremony) was a popular prank. It became traditional for this prank to be played on April Fool’s Day. Examples of it occur as late as the mid-nineteenth century. For more about the history of this prank, see the article: Washing the Lions.

 

 

In the eighteenth century written references to April Fool’s Day became numerous and appeared throughout Europe.

 

 CONTINUED ON POST # 2

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APRIL CALENDAR - POST #2 - Origin of April Fool's Day, cont.

Post #2 - Origin of April Fool's Day - Cont.

 

 

Renewal Festivals

Almost every culture in the world has some kind of festival in the first months of the year to celebrate the end of winter and the return of spring. Anthropologists call these “renewal festivals.” Often they involve ritualized forms of mayhem and misrule. The wearing of disguises is common. People play pranks on friends and strangers. The social order is temporarily inverted. Servants might get to order around masters, or children challenge the authority of parents and teachers. However, the disorder is always bounded within a strict timeframe, and tensions are defused with laughter and comedy. The social order is symbolically challenged, but then restored, reaffirming the stability of the society, just as the cold months of winter temporarily challenge biological life, and yet the cycle of life continues, returning with the spring.

April Fool’s Day has all the characteristics of a renewal festival. For one day forms of behavior that are normally not allowed (lying, deception, playing pranks) become acceptable, and yet the disorder is bounded within a strict timeframe. Traditionally, no pranks are supposed to be played after 12 o’clock noon of the first. Social hierarchies and tensions are exposed, but hostility is defused with laughter.

 

 

For as long as people have been speculating about April Fool’s Day, they have noticed the similarities between it and other springtime “renewal” festivals. Many historians have theorized that April Fool’s Day evolved directly out of some such festival practiced in ancient times. A direct connection between April Fool’s Day and any of the Roman-era festivals seems unlikely, though it is quite possible that the tradition evolved out of a medieval festival held around the time of the Vernal equinox (such as the New Year’s festivals at the end of March, as discussed above).

 

 

Nevertheless, there is no agreement about which festival the tradition of April Foolery developed out of. Below is a list of some of the festivals that have most frequently been suggested as its forerunners.

 

 

The Saturnalia

 


The Saturnalia, by Antoine-François Callet
The Saturnalia was a Roman winter festival observed at the end of December. It involved dancing, drinking, and general merrymaking. People exchanged gifts, slaves were allowed to pretend that they ruled their masters, and a mock king, the Saturnalicius princeps (or Lord of Misrule), reigned for the day. By the fourth century AD the Saturnalia had transformed into a January 1 New Year’s Day celebration, and many of its traditions were incorporated into the observance of Christmas.

 

 

Hilaria

In late March the Romans honored the resurrection of Attis, son of the Great Mother Cybele, with the Hilaria celebration. This involved rejoicing and the donning of disguises.

 

 

Holi

Further afield in India, there was Holi, known as the festival of color, during which street celebrants threw colored powder and water at each other. This holiday was held on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Phalguna (usually the end of February or the beginning of March).

 

 

Festival of Lud

Northern Europeans observed an ancient festival to honor Lud, a Celtic god of humor. There were also popular Northern European customs that made sport of the hierarchy of the Druids.

 

 

Feast of Fools

The medieval Festus Fatuorum (Feast of Fools) evolved out of the Saturnalia. On this day celebrants elected a Lord of Misrule and parodied church rituals, often in extremely blasphemous ways. The Church condemned the custom, but had little luck eradicating it despite frequent decrees forbidding it. It endured from the fifth century until the sixteenth century.

 

 

Regional British Festivals

Some festivals practiced in regions of Britain during the Middle Ages have similarities to April Fool’s Day. Hoke-Tide (or Hock-Tide) was celebrated around Easter. Men and women would stop strangers of the opposite sex on the roads and tie them up, only untying them in return for money, which was to be used for a pious purpose.

 

 

Various rowdy games would also be played. Shig-Shag (or Shick-Shack) Day was observed on May 20. Celebrants placed sprigs of apple oak in their hats or lapels. This was supposedly done to demonstrate loyalty to the monarchy, since Charles II was said to have hidden in an Oak Apple tree to escape the forces of Cromwell. However, the tradition probably had roots in pagan tree-worship customs. Anyone not wearing the oak might be accosted and mocked, but only until noon. After noon the obligation to “have shig-shag” ceased.

 

 

Mythological Origins

Scholars in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, suspecting April Fool’s Day to be of great antiquity, occasionally tried to locate its origins in ancient mythology. Such theories never found wide acceptance, but they’re included here since they were so often raised in discussions of April Fool’s Day.

 

 

Roman Mythology

In Roman mythology Pluto, the God of the Dead, abducted Proserpina and brought her to live with him in the underworld. Proserpina called out to her mother Ceres (the Goddess of grain and the harvest) for help, but Ceres, who could only hear the echo of her daughter’s voice, searched in vain for Proserpina. Some scholars theorized that the fruitless search of Ceres for her daughter (commemmorated during the Roman festival of Cerealia) was the mythological antecedent of the fool’s errands popular on April 1st.

 

 

Christian Mythology

It was once popular to christianize April Fool’s Day by locating its origin in Biblical traditions. For instance, the tradition was attributed to Noah’s mistake of sending a dove out from the ark before the flood waters had subsided (thereby sending the dove on a fool’s errand). A second story suggests that the day commemorates the time when Jesus was sent from Pilate to Herod and back again. The phrase “Sending a man from Pilate to Herod” (an old term for sending someone on a fool’s errand) was often pointed to as proof of this origin theory.

 

 

National Origin Theories

There are theories of the origin of April Fool’s Day specific to Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. None of these theories offers a compelling explanation of the day’s origin. However, it is a sign of the cross-cultural nature of the tradition that four different countries should attempt to take credit for it.

 

 

France

The French origin theory (the calendar-change hypothesis) was discussed above. It alleges that the custom originated when King Charles IX reformed the calendar, moving the start of the year from April 1 to January 1. People who continued to celebrate New Years on April 1 were mocked and had pranks played on them, thus initiating the custom of April 1st foolery. This has become, worldwide, the most popular theory of the origin of April Fool’s Day, despite its flaws.

 

 

The French also have a theory that traces the origin of the custom back to the abundance of fish to be found in French streams and rivers during early April when the young fish had just hatched. These young fish were easy to fool with a hook and lure. Therefore, the French called them ‘Poisson d’Avril’ or ‘April Fish.’ Soon it became customary (according to this theory) to fool people on April 1, as a way of celebrating the abundance of foolish fish. The French still use the term ‘Poisson d’Avril’ to describe April Fool’s Day pranks. They also observe the custom of giving each other chocolate fish on April 1.

 

 

Great Britain

 


In this 1630 woodcut, a citizen of Gotham is shown trying to trap a bird inside a roofless fence.
British folklore links April Fool’s Day to the town of Gotham, the legendary town of fools located in Nottinghamshire. According to the legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the King placed his foot upon to become public property. So when the citizens of Gotham heard that King John planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the King heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of lunatics engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish or attempting to cage birds in roofless fences. Their foolery was all an act, but the King fell for the ruse and declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment. Ever since then, according to legend, April Fool’s Day has commemmorated their trickery.

 

 

Germany

On April 1, 1530 a meeting of lawmakers was supposed to occur in Augsburg in order to consider various financial matters. Because of time considerations, the meeting did not take place. But numerous speculators, who had bet on the meeting occurring, lost their money and were ridiculed. This is said to have been the origin of the tradition of playing pranks on April 1.

 

 

The Netherlands

On April 1, 1572 Dutch rebels captured the town of Den Briel from Spanish troops led by Lord Alva. This military success eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands from Spain. A Dutch rhyme goes: “Op 1 april / Verloor Alva zijn Bril.” This translates to: “On April 1st / Alva lost his ‘glasses’”. “Bril” means glasses in Dutch, but is also a pun on the name of the town, Den Briel. It is claimed that the tradition of pranks on April 1st arose to commemorate the victory in Den Briel and humiliation of the Spanish commander.

 

 

References

  • Jane M. Hatch (ed.). The American Book of Days. New York, 1978. p: 314-316.
  • Hennig Cohen and Tristam Potter Coffin (eds.). The Folklore of American Holidays. Gale, 1999. p: 191-193.
  • Walsh, William. (1898). “April Fool Day, or All Fools’ Day.” in Curiosities of Popular Customs. J.B. Lippincott Company. Philadelphia: 58-62.
  • “Calendar.” (2001). Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. p.223.
  • Martin, Denis-Constant. (Nov. 2001). “Politics Behind The Mask: Studying Contemporary Carnivals in Political Perspective, Theoretical and Methodological Suggestions.” Research in question. No. 2.
  • Burton, William B. (April 1840). “The First of April.” Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and American Monthly Review. Philadelphia.
  • Roberts, Peter. (1815). “April Day.” in The Cambrian Popular Antiquities. E. Williams, London: 113-117.
  • Travis, Peter. (1997). “Chaucer’s Chronographiae, the Confounded Reader, and Fourteenth-Century Measurements of Time.” in Constructions of Time in the Late Middle Ages. Poster, C. & Utz, R.J. (eds.) Northwestern University Press: 1-34.
  • Aubrey, J. (1686). Remains of Gentilisme and Judaisme.
  • Meder, Theo. “Een bloemlezing uit de Volksverhalenbank.” PDF File.
  • Favrod, Justin & Morerod, Jean-Daniel. “D-1er Avril: Poissons et Calembours.”
  • Tilley, Arthur. (1904). “Appendix D: On the beginning of the year in France between 1515 and 1565.” in The Literature of the French Renaissance. Cambridge University Press.
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APRIL CALENDAR - Pascua Florida Day

Pascua Florida Day in United States

Quick FactsPascua Florida Day, which usually falls on April 2, is a state day in Florida, USA. Local names Name Language
Pascua Florida DayEnglish
Día de la Pascua FloridaSpanish
 
 

Capital: Tallahassee

State abbreviation/Postal code: Fla./FL

Nickname: Sunshine State

Origin of name: Named on Easter 1513 by Ponce de Leon for Pascua Florida, meaning "Flowery Easter"

 
 
Pascua Florida Day is celebrated as a state day in Florida, the United States (USA). It usually falls on April 2. It is the anniversary of the discovery of Florida in 1513 by Juan Ponce de León, who searched for gold and the Fountain of Youth. He named the land "Pascua Florida" probably because the date was near Easter.
Welcome to Florida
Pascua Florida Day is Florida's state day. ©iStockphoto.com/Bill Manning

What do people do?

 

 

Although it is not widely publicized, Pascua Florida Day is Florida’s state day, celebrated on April 2. The week commemorates the sighting of Florida by Spanish explorer Ponce de León.

 

 

Public life

Pascua Florida Day is designated as a state day. When it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the governor may declare either the preceding Friday or following Monday as the state day. According to the 2007 Florida Senate Statutes, the Governor of Florida may annually issue a proclamation designating April 2 as the state day and designating the week of March 27 to April 2 as "Pascua Florida Week" and calling upon public schools and citizens of Florida to observe the same as a patriotic occasion.

 

 

No transport schedule changes have been announced by major bus companies, such as Greyhound Lines, and train lines, such as Amtrak. According to the Florida Department of Education, Pascua Florida Day is not a school holiday.

 

 

Background

Florida was named for the day on which it was discovered by Spanish explorer Ponce de León, who called it La Florida in honor of Pascua Florida, the Spanish Feast of the Flowers at Easter time. While there are no official records, historians believe that Ponce de León was born in 1460 in San Tervas de Campos, Spain.

Ponce de León accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. He became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish Crown. He is also notable for his voyage to Florida, the first known European excursion there, as well as for being associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth which is said to be in Florida.

 

 

With two vessels, 200 men, 50 horses and other domestic animals, and farm implements, he sailed for Florida. Upon landing on the west coast, his party was fiercely attacked by Native Americans, and he was severely wounded by an arrow. The expedition sailed immediately for Cuba, where Ponce de León died.

 

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APRIL CALENDAR - Post #1 - Good Friday

All About Good Friday Good Friday History, Information, Prayers, Resources, Traditions, & More

 

 

 Good Friday Definition and Summary

Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, and commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Good Friday is a fast day in the Catholic Church, and falls within the Paschal Triduum. In 2010, Good Friday falls on April 2 (dates in other years).

 

 

Basic Facts About Good Friday

Liturgical Color(s): Red (formerly black)
Type of Holiday: Fast Day
Time of Year: Friday of Holy Week within the Paschal Triduum, and within the traditional 40 day Lenten Fast
Duration: One Day
Celebrates/Symbolizes: Jesus' Passion, Crucifixion, and Death
Alternate Names: Good Friday of the Lord's Passion, Great Friday
Scriptural References: Matthew 26-27; Mark 14-15; Luke 23; John 17-19

 

 

Introduction

Good Friday is the Friday within Holy Week, and is traditionally a time of fasting and penance, commemorating the anniversary of Christ's crucifixion and death. For Christians, Good Friday commemorates not just a historical event, but the sacrificial death of Christ, which with the resurrection, comprises the heart of the Christian faith. The Catholic Catechism states this succinctly:

Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men (CCC 1992).

 

 

This is based on the words of St. Paul: "[Believers] are justified freely by God's grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his blood... (Romans 3:24-25, NAB). The customs and prayers associated with Good Friday typically focus on the theme of Christ's sacrificial death for our sins.

 

 

The evening (at sunset) of Good Friday begins the second day of the Paschal Triduum. The major Good Friday worship services begin in the afternoon at 3:00 (the time Jesus likely died). Various traditions and customs are associated with the Western celebration of Good Friday. The singing (or preaching) of the Passion of St. John's gospel consists of reading or singing parts of John's gospel (currently John 18:1-19:42 in the Catholic Church). The Veneration of the Cross is also common in the Western Church. This is when Christians approach a wooden cross and venerate it, often by kneeling before it, or kissing part of it. In addition to these traditions, Holy Communion with the reserved host is practiced. In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, no Masses are said on Good Friday or Holy Saturday, therefore the reserved host from the Holy (Maundy) Thursday Mass is used. This is called the "Mass of the Pre-Sanctified." Many Churches also offer the Stations of the Cross, also called the "Way of the Cross," on Good Friday. This is a devotion in which fourteen events surrounding the death of Jesus are commemorated. Most Catholic Churches have fourteen images of Jesus' final days displayed throughout the parish, for use in public Stations of the Cross services. Another service started by the Jesuit Alphonso Messia in 1732, now less common, the Tre Ore or "Three Hours," is often held from noon until 3:00 PM, and consists of seven sermons on the seven last words of Christ. This service has been popular in many Protestant churches. Good Friday, along with Ash Wednesday, is an official fast day of the Catholic Church.

 

 

The Eastern Churches have different customs for the day they call "the Great Friday." The Orthodox Church begins the day with Matins (Morning Prayer), where the "Twelve Gospels" is chanted, which consists of 12 passages drawn from the Passion narratives. In the morning, the "Little Hours" follow one after the other, consisting of Gospel, Epistle, and Prophet readings. Vespers (Evening Prayer) ends with a solemn veneration of the epitaphion, an embroidered veil containing scenes of Christ's burial. Compline (Night Prayer) includes a lamentation placed on the Virgin Mary's lips. On Good Friday night, a symbolic burial of Christ is performed. Traditionally, Chaldean and Syrian Christians cease using their customary Shlama greeting ("peace be with you") on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, because Judas greeted Christ this way. They use the phrase "The light of God be with your departed ones" instead. In Russia, the tradition is to bring out a silver coffin, bearing a cross, and surrounded with candles and flowers. The faithful creep on their knees and kiss and venerate the image of Christ's body painted on the "winding sheet" (shroud). For more information see The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church and The Catholic Source Book.

 

 

History

The celebration of Good Friday is ancient, and some of the practices associated with Good Friday are attested to by Egeria in the 4th century. The day gradually became a time of penance and fasting as the anniversary of the death of Christ. The name "Good Friday" possibly comes from "God's Friday," although the exact reason for the current name is unclear. The custom of venerating the cross on Good Friday probably originated in Jerusalem in the 7th or 8th century, and continues to this day in many Western Churches. Pre-sanctified Masses are referenced in the documents of the Quinisext Council, which was held in AD 692, which means the practice pre-dates the seventh century. The Council mentions pre-sanctified liturgies as occurring primarily during Lent. Various churches observe Good Friday in addition to Catholics and Eastern Christians. Anglicans, Methodists, and Lutherans all observe Good Friday to varying degrees.

 

 

CONTINUED ON POST #2

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APRIL CALENDAR - Post #2 - Good Friday, cont.

Worship and Prayer Resources

Prayers for Lent

 

 

Good Friday Art, Photos, and Images

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Jesus on the Cross With Mary (D. Bennett)

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Christ on the Cross With Mary Magdalene (Signorelli)

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Christ Carrying the Cross (El Greco)

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Deposition from the Cross (Fiorentino)

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Lamentation at the Tomb (Van der Weyden)

More Liturgical Artwork

 

 

Traditions, Symbols, & Typology

 

 

 

 

Traditions
Veneration of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross
Preaching/Singing of the Passion

 

 

Symbols
Cross and Crucifix

 

 

Old Testament Typology Foreshadowing the Crucifixion
Abel's Murder
Joseph's Imprisonment With Two Thieves
Martyrdom of Isaiah and Jeremiah
Isaac on Mt. Moriah

 

 

Good Friday Games and Educational Materials

Lent Crossword Puzzle (html)
Lent Crossword Puzzle (pdf)
Interactive Lent Crossword Puzzle

 

CONTINUED ON POST #3 - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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APRIL CALENDAR - Post #3 - Good Friday - Frequently Asked Questions

[ Edited ]

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

1. What are the Western Catholic Fast Guidelines for Good Friday?
Fasting means eating only one full meatless (no animal flesh) meal on this day. However, one may still eat a breakfast and even a lunch in addition to a full meal if the two additional small meals do not add up to a second full meal. Snacking is not allowed. Drinking coffee, tea, juices, etc, between meals is permitted on fast days. The requirements are slightly different for those of certain ages. Fasting is only required of those from ages 18-59, although parents are expected to teach their children the reasons behind their fasting, etc. Those with health conditions are excluded. Note that some Western Bishop Conferences, Eastern Catholic Rites, and Orthodox Christians have different fasting guidelines, so it is wise to check with your local parish about expectations. These are simply the minimum expectations. Additional forms of self-denial, within reason, can also be spiritually beneficial.

 

 

 

2. What is the Paschal Triduum?
The Paschal Triduum, often called the Easter Triduum or simply the Triduum, consists of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. This includes the Great Easter Vigil, the high point of the Triduum. The word Triduum comes from the Latin word meaning "three days." It begins the evening of Maundy Thursday and ends at Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. Thus the Triduum consists of three full days which begin and end in the evening. The Triduum technically is not part of Lent (at least liturgically), but Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are still reckoned as part of the traditional forty day Lenten fast. The Triduum celebrates the heart of our faith and salvation: the death and resurrection of Christ, and is thus the high point of the liturgical year. For more information, visit our page, All About the Paschal Triduum.

 

 

 

3. Why Does the Church Celebrate the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus on a Friday?
It is long-held Tradition, based on the Biblical texts, that Jesus died on a Friday and rose from the dead on a Sunday, which would place the Last Supper on a Thursday night. Scripture tells us that Jesus rose from the dead "early on the first day of the week" (Mark 16:2, RSV). It was on the same day (the first day of the week) that Jesus met his apostles on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:1). John also confirms that Jesus rose on a Sunday (John 20:1). The early Church Fathers universally held that Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday, and worshiped on Sunday, "The Lord's Day." The Fathers also testify to the Institution of the Eucharist on a Thursday and a Friday crucifixion of Jesus. Even though Jesus tells us that he was to be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, in ancient Jewish reckoning, this included partial days. Thus, Jesus was saying that his time in the earth would span three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Saint Justin Martyr (writing in 150 AD) testifies to both Sunday worship and a Friday crucifixion of Jesus:

 

 

 

But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples... (First Apology 67)

 

 

 

The Didache (70-90 AD) also mentions Sunday worship, and fasting on Fridays (likely connected to Jesus' crucifixion that day):

Let not your fasts be with the hypocrites... but fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday)...But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure (8, 14).

 

 

 

The Apostolic Constitutions (late 4th century) verifies the same chronology. Note that, based on Scripture, this document provides the rationale for the dates of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

And on the fifth day of the week (Thursday), when we had eaten the Passover with Him, and when Judas had dipped his hand into the dish, and received the sop, and was gone out by night, the Lord said to us: "The hour is come that ye shall be dispersed, and shall leave me alone" (V:3:XIV).

...it being the day of the preparation (Friday), they delivered Him to Pilate the Roman governor, accusing Him of many and great things, none of which they could prove...[Jesus] commanded us to fast on the fourth and sixth (Friday) days of the week; the former on account of His being betrayed, and the latter on account of His passion (V:3:XIV, XV).

 

 

But when the first day of the week (Sunday) dawned He arose from the dead, and fulfilled those things which before His passion He foretold to us, saying: "The Son of man must continue in the heart of the earth three days and three nights" (V:3:XIV).

 

 

Virtually every Church Father who addresses the issue agrees with the traditional dating of a Thursday Last Supper, Friday Crucifixion, and Sunday resurrection. This includes those Church Fathers and writings mentioned above, but also Ignatius (105 AD), Pseudo-Barnabas (120 AD), Clement of Alexandria (195 AD), and many others. This chronology is firmly based on Scripture, and universally verified by Tradition.

 

 

These pages written by David Bennett. Last updated 10-04-2009.

Church Year. Net

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Ryan_G
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Arbor Day

Let's not forget one of my favorite days in the month of April.  The last Friday of the month is national Arbor Day.  I would like those of us in the Kingdom to celebrat this month.  I'm open to ideas on how we should do it.  Maybe plant a Royal Woods with all our favorite trees or have a haiku contest or maybe even a log rolling contest.  Either way we should all be planting a tree on that day.

 

 

"I am half sick of shadows" The Lady of Shalott

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APRIL CALENDAR - Edited 4/4/10

KathyS wrote:

April 1   - All Fools' Day

April 2   - Good Friday

April 2   - Pascua Florida Day

April 4   - Easter

April 5   - Easter Monday

April 13 - Thomas Jefferson's Birthday

April 19 - Patriots Day (Maine, Mass.)

April 21 - San Jacinto Day (Tex.)

April 22 - Earth Day

April 23 - St. Georges' Day (N.L., Can.)

April 24 - Birthday of Roobert B. Thomas, Founder of the Old Farmer's Almanac

April 28 - Full Pink Moon

April 30 - National Arbor Day

 

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National Arbor Day - April 30

Yes, My dear Ryan, I was remiss in that I forgot to mention this day, National Arbor Day, on our calendar, but I have righted this mistake.  Do, please forgive me, as I know this is one of your favorite days of the year.  Thank you for the reminder, with your beautiful trees!  I think your idea is very good!

 

As we get closer to that day, we can plan for a party.  And also, the next day will be May 1, which is May Day...Do you think we can combine these two days of Spring, for all to gather together?  May poles are a favorite of mine, to view them in all of the towns that decorate one for this wonderful month of May.  We will have our own, too!  I also love May wine!....what a great time I see in the future days to come!  I will get the workers busy, the gardeners, and all, to prepare the grounds for this!  It will be a colorful and gay time we will all have!

 

With my love,

QMummy

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Re: National Arbor Day - April 30

Mixing Beltaine a fertility holiday with Arbor day lets all plant a tree..... hmm ok it would be odd but.... Oh and Don't forget May 3 Chinese revolution day or May 5 Cinco de Miyo Mexican revolution ala let's all get drunk . Spring sure is busy. :smileytongue:

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7.2 Earthquake in Mexico...felt in Calif, Nevada, and Arizona

[ Edited ]

It was a shake, rattle and roll day, a couple of hours ago!  Let's get through April, safely!

 

7.2 Earthquake, 30 miles south of Mexicali, in Baja..A big'un in Mexico which shot north, into Calif..  It was felt in Las Vegas...and Arizona...Aftershocks in Malibu, and a triggered earth quake happened near San Francisco.  ...don't know, as yet, how much damage there was at the epicenter in Mexico.

 

Where I live, I just rolled with it, and nothing fell, or was disturbed.  But it lasted forever!  I felt like I was in a row boat!

TiggerBear wrote:

Mixing Beltaine a fertility holiday with Arbor day lets all plant a tree..... hmm ok it would be odd but.... Oh and Don't forget May 3 Chinese revolution day or May 5 Cinco de Miyo Mexican revolution ala let's all get drunk . Spring sure is busy. :smileytongue:

 

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Re: 7.2 Earthquake in Mexico...felt in Calif, Nevada, and Arizona

Very glad to hear you are alright.

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Re: 7.2 Earthquake in Mexico...felt in Calif, Nevada, and Arizona

Thanks, Tigger.  Earthquakes are not unusual here, as you know, but how this one affected so many people..Literally millions... makes it different for us.  I found this interesting.

 

Where I live, we have multiple small faults, but no major ones.  The San Andreas fault is a major fault north/east of here.  The people who felt this quake the most, were the ones closet to the major fault lines, even though I was closer to the epicenter.

 

Two deaths, so far, have been reported in Mexico.  The water is the main issue right now.  Their water mains are broken.  California is still in it's draught, and is pretty strapped, as far as helping them with this issue.  Arizona would be their best bet on this, since more water is going to Arizona, than to us, from the Colorado river.

 

I haven't found out what the damage was at the epicenter.  I haven't looked into it....The news has only reported on Calexico, and Mexicali, boarder towns that were affected the most.

 

 

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Re: 7.2 Earthquake in Mexico...felt in Calif, Nevada, and Arizona

[ Edited ]

Hey Kathy if you're still on or get on later. Over in mystery board party central thread. Becke is showing some concern for you. I mentioned I spoke to you after the 7 pointer and you were fine. But I think everyone in the party room would apreciate an update from you. We have scones.:smileyhappy:

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APRIL CALENDAR - Spring Planting and Party!

All the Kingdom!

 

It is time to celebrate!

 

As spring arrives, so do the blossoms of flowers, the buds on the trees, and the celebration of Life, itself.  New birth of nature.  It is my favorite time of year.  I live in this castle, surrounded by all seasons; with beautiful lawns, and gardens, and every imaginable creature living, to inhabit a space here.  During all months of the year, there is something to celebrate, as even in winter we celebrated the snow and ice, and showed to everyone what beautiful things can be created.  Nothing is without beauty.

 

Now that spring is here, I see new plantings are beginning around the grounds.  The Smurfs are out in force, digging and tilling, and preparing the earth for whatever you choose to have them plant for you. 

 

I would be thrilled to see what you have in mind for this new year of growth!  Colors of flowers, trees, shrubs, and grasses....new ponds, and walkways.  We can always use more of these within our realm.  It's spring, show us what you like!  The cooks are preparing the food which is all grown on the castle grounds...show us some of your favorite home grown foods.  Recipes are welcome!  Let the Spring Party begin!

 

Oh, and do not forget to keep adding to our Haiku thread.  And if you have something more you would like to write about, having to do with planting, or any time of year in the world around you, please do so in the Gardening in your own words, thread.  That thread was created by Becke, for whatever inspires you to write about nature/life.  Whether someone's poem inspired you, or quotes you love, or thoughts all of your own.  Do not hesitate to enter that world.

 

Have a wonderful day!

 

QM, Kathy

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APRIL - Apple Trees

[ Edited ]

Apple blossoms!  We are in need of more varieties of apple trees.  Apple pie is on my list of things I love to eat!  This fall will be picking time, and an apple pie festival, so we

must plant now.

 

 

.Fan Trained Apple Tree in Spring Blossom Photographic Print

 

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APRIL - English Lavender!

[ Edited ]

Lavender Field stock photo

 

 

Cookie Carrot-Top, our head bakery chef, is starting a new batch of cookies, made with this flower...Wonderful!  I shall send the recipe along soon!

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Re: APRIL - Spring

For me, one of the First Signs of Spring is the appearance of Crocuses!

 

At my Crystal Palace of Fantasia, my Gardeners have planted their Bulbs scattered on the Lawns, so that they have a Random Appearance - so Delightful!

 

I also have a New Favorite.  It seems to come as a Bush or a Tree, but I am not sure what it is called.  I think it is a type of Cherry, and it has Burgundy Leaves and Branches.  I think this might be a Photo of one, although I'm not sure:

Click to view full size image

 

Does anyone know what I mean?  If I knew what it was called, I could find more Photos, and could order some to be Planted around my Palace.

 

In my Back Gardens at both Oz and Fantasia, I have Lilac Bushes of all Colors.

Dark Purple

Light Purple (sometimes called Blue)

Pink

White

 

I just found out that there are also Yellow Lilacs, so I must instruct my Gardeners to plant some.

 

The Scent of Lilacs is Exquisite!!!  Another Spring Flower with a Wonderful Scent is another favorite of mine - Lily of the Valley.  My Gardeners have planted this Lovely Flower in Shady spots, where they stretch out as far as the Eye can See.  So Beautiful!!!

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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Re: APRIL - Spring

As I am still becoming familiar with my surroundings I must say I Love the greenery. Watching the new leaves filling in the assorted trees and smelling the coming rains that will awaken and refresh the sleeping foliage.

 

I have a thought of putting in a water garden at Tamul. Maybe Ducks will come and nest there!Watergarden

 

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four/ she's coming for you now, you better lock the door"-- Promise Not To Tell