Q: #92. Can you tell me what the following holidays mean and when we celebrate them? Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Advent, and Epiphany.
By: Steve Shirley
A: These first five of these holidays are all celebrations leading up to Easter. The last two come before and after Christmas respectively.
(The start of the 40 days before Easter, not counting Sundays) During this time some people place ashes on their foreheads as an act of remorse.
(The name for the 40 days that begins with Ash Wednesday) It generally marks a time of prayer and fasting commemorating Christ's 40 days in the wilderness.
(The Sunday before Easter) Celebrates the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding upon a donkey.
(The Thursday before Easter) Celebrates the day of the "Last Supper."
(The Friday before Easter) The day Jesus was crucified on the cross.
[From the Latin for arrival](The 4 Sundays before Christmas) Anticipates the "arrival" of the birth of Jesus.
(The twelve days after Christmas: Jan 6) Celebrates the time when the Magi [or wisemen] visited Jesus.
Catholics, Lutherans, and a few other religions celebrate these holidays. Most Protestant churches do not. Whether one chooses to celebrate these days or not is a matter of personal preference. There is nothing wrong with celebrating them as long as the "acts" chosen to celebrate them are not made to have some "spiritual significance" or make a person think they are more "holy." The Bible says we should not condemn anyone for a day they choose to worship the Lord (Col 2:16)(Rom 14:5-6)(Gal 4:9-10). If we are celebrating it to glorify the Lord, I believe He honors that.