Tuesday, May 29, 2007

All Saints Day

John 12:24 "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

In the Orthodox Tradition, All Saints Day is not celebrated the day after Halloween, but the Sunday after Pentecost. I'm honestly not sure exactly why this particular date was chosen, but it does preempt the Western Christian date of Nov. 1st. It brings a beautiful close to the Easter season, a reminder of the purpose of Christ's life.

Readings: Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30,Hebrews 11:33-12:2

For the Little Ones: Traditionally, the Orthodox bring Kaliva (a boiled wheat dish) to commemoration services for the dead. Have your little ones help you make it at home and have a special memorial service for the dead that evening. Pray particularly for family members and friends you know who have passed away. You can find a recipe for Kaliva here.

***A quick bit of history found here. Phyllis Onest explains that the origin of this tradition: "On the first Saturday of the Great Fast we remember the miracle of St. Theodore of Tyre in 362 AD with koliva. The Emperor, Julian the Apostate, had the food in the market sprinkled with the blood of animals sacrificed to pagan gods in order to defile the first week of the Great Fast. Patriarch Aphdoxios of Constantinople appeared to the saint in a dream warning him of the emperor's scheme. St. Theodore told the people to cook the wheat they had at home rather than grinding all of it into flour. Thus, they did not buy anything in the market and avoided the tainted food."

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