261 religious encyclopedia exile of the Israelites Extreme Unction



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FEASTS AND FESTIVALS.


1. Hebrew. Terms and Underlying Principles (§ 1). Provisions of the Priest Code 2). Comparison of Other Codes (§ 3). Order of Development of the Codes 4). Changes in Character of Festivals 5). 11. Christian. Sunday and Sabbath (§ 1). Annual Feasts (§ 2). The Protestant Churches (§ 3).

I. Hebrew: To express the idea of religious fes­

tival, the Hebrew has two words, mo'edh and hagh

(Ar. #ajj). Mo'edh denotes a set time for coming

together, and can be employed for any festival

(Ezek. xlv. 17) except Sabbaths and new moons

(II Cbron. viii. 13; cf. Isa. i. 14). $agh means

particularly a festal dance, comes to mean festival

in general, and is then applied to the

r. Terms three great feasts at which pilgrimage

and was made to the great sanctuary, and

Underlying particularly to the feast of booths

Principles. (tabernacles) in autumn. No single

principle determines the character of

feasts in the Old Testament. The feast of new moon

and perhaps the Sabbath are lunar, and upon the

Sabbath reckoning in larger cycles depend the

Sabbatical and jubilee years. The feasts of un­

leavened bread, of weeks and of tabernacles are

determined by the season, at least on their agrarian

side. The Passover is a historical‑religious commem­

oration, into connection with which the feasts of

unleavened bread and of booths are brought, and

in post‑Biblical times Pentecost was brought into

this circle. The same is true of Purim and the

feast of dedication. The day of atonement is

purely religious with no fast ties to any special

date. The festivals can be considered also in their

relations to the family, to sanctuaries, to commu­

nities or to the central sanctuary.

For a historical review of the festal system the priestly document furnishes the basis, since it is the most developed. The classical passages are Lev. xxiii.; for the Passover Ex. xii. 3‑20, 43‑50; for the Sabbatical and jubilee years Lev. xxv.; the institution of the offerings is in Num. xxviii.‑xxix. The result of these enactments is as follows

Through the twofold daily offering each day becomes a religious festival and to this daily offering the special offerings of particular occasions are addi­tions (Num. xxviii. 3 aqq.). The Sabbath (q.v.) is a day consecrated to God with absolute rest, convocation at the sanctuary, and special offerings (Num. xxviii. 9). The Passover is a house festi­val celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month in commemoration of the immunity of the Israelites in the final Egyptian plague; the pas­chal lamb is eaten with unleavened

a. Provi‑ bread and its blood is sprinkled on

sions of the the door‑posts. The feast of un­

Priest Code. leavened bread begins on the fifteenth

day of the first month and continues

seven days; during the whole period special offer­

ings are made, and the first and last days are rest

days with special convocations. Ex. xii. 17

brings it into connection with the Exodus, Lev.





roasts and Testivsla


THE NEW SCHAFF‑HERZOG




xxiii. 9‑14 connects with it the feast of first‑fruits, after which the new harvest might be enjoyed. Pentecost or the feast of weeks depends upon this, occurring seven weeks later, celebrated as a rest day and time of special offerings and convocation. The feast of tabernacles begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and continues eight days, the first and last of which are days of convocation, each day having its special offering. While this feast commemorates the sojourn in the wilderness, Lev. xxiii. 39 brings it into connection with the harvest. The new moons are celebrated with special offerings (Num. xxviii. 11‑15); the new moon of the seventh month is a teat day with convo­cation, blowing of the trumpet, and special offerings. The Day of Atonement, occurring on the tenth day of the seventh month, is an absolute rest day with convocation and its own ritual of offerings, a peni­tential festival with fasting and high‑priestly atonement for sin and impurity. The Sabbatical year occurs once in seven years, the land is not cultivated, and the products are common prop­erty. The jubilee year falls at the end of a cycle of seven Sabbatical years, therefore every fif­tieth year. It begins on the day of atonement with the blowing of trumpets, involves s complete rest of the land, and the people recover their earlier possessions and Hebrew slaves their freedom. The basis of this is the idea that the land is Yah­weh's, while his people are his guests, his servants, and therefore not man's servants. The religious interest is dominant throughout. Passover, un­leavened bread, and the feast of tabernacles are commemorative. Especially closely connected with religious ideas are the day of atonement, and the Sabbatical and the jubilee year. All, with the exception of the Passover, are celebrated with con­vocations at the sanctuary with collective offer­ings, among which offerings for sin are constant excepting at the daily and Sabbath sacrifice. The times are fixed by the months, yet the feasts of unleavened bread, of Pentecost, and of booths are related to the seasons and to agriculture.

Ezekiel (xlv. 17‑xlvi. 15) omits Pentecost, and locates the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, with a seven days' use of unleavened bread, with daily sacrifice of burnt offerings, food­offerings, and sin‑offerings. And he places the feast of tabernacles on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, continuing seven days with special offerings. On the days of new moon and Sabbath, offerings are required, and a daily, morning offering con­sisting of burnt offering and food‑offering. On the first day of the first and of the seventh month the sanctuary is to be cleansed by the blood of a sin­offering. Thus Ezekiel is close to the Priest Code, though the prince makes the offerings in the name of the people, the feasts are fewer, atonement day appears to be semiyearly, and the g. Compsri‑household Passover is not mentioned.

son of The Deuteronomic passage is xvi.1‑17,

ether and deals with three great festivals at

Codes, the central sanctuary. .In the month

of Abib occurs the Passover, not a

celebration at home, but at the central sanctuary

and for a single day, though unleavened bread is



ass


to be eaten for seven days in memory of the hurried flight from Egypt. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks after the commencement of harvest at the central sanctuary with enjoyment of the gifts brought. The feast of tabernacles is loosely placed at the close of the harvest and vintage and is also celebrated at the central sanctuary. Thus Deuter onomy differs from the Priest Code and Ezekiel in not fixing exactly the time of celebration, the accom­paniment of sin‑offering is lacking, and the offerings are not those of the community as a whole, but are. enjoyed as festal meals. The Sabbath celebration is provided for in the Deuteronomio decalogue, and the basis is humanitarian. There is no Sabbatical or jubilee year, though a release of Hebrew debtors and slaves takes place. The festival of new moon does not appear, still less the day of atonement or the double temple cleansing of Ezekiel. The ex­position of the Yahwiatic Code is complicated by Deuteronomic redaction of the passages which deal with the festivals (Ex. xxiii. 10‑17, axxiv. 18‑‑26; cf. xii. 34, 39, xiii..eqq.). As they stand

these passages involve a seven days', festival of unleavened bread in Abib (commemorative), a harvest festival (of first‑fruits), and s feast of ingathering at the close of the year. The Sabbath has the same humanitarian basis se in Deuteronomy,

and the products of the land in the seventh year

are common property. Ex. xxxiv. • mentions again

these same three festivals, but the feast of weeks

bears the same name as in Deuteronomy, and

verses 25, 19‑20 indicate that the Passover did not

originate with Deuteronomy.

This review shows that the Priest Code and the

Yahwistic Code stand at the two extremes oP the

development, with Ezekiel and Deuteronomy com­

ing in between; and, further, it is clear that the

order is JE, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, and P. The

historical writings confirm this result.

;. Order of Thus in Neh. viii. 14 eqq. mention is

Develop‑ made of a festival of the Priest Code

meat of the (feast of booths) of which it is ea­

Codes. pressly said " since the days of Joshua

. had not the children of Israel

done so." In .II Kings xxiii. 21‑23, is found an­

other note of similar character, related to the cele­

bration at the central sanctuary. The prophetical

writings are in connection with the Yahwistic Code,

and earlier history also accords with this. A

sacrificial feast in the city of Samuel is mentioned

in I Sam. ix. 12 eqq., and a family festival and

sacrifice in Bethlehem in I Sam. ax. 6. There are

pilgrimages also to sanctuaries where a festal meal

is eaten (I Sam. i. 3 sqg.; cf. Hon. ix. 4‑5). Men­

tion occurs often of an ancient festival (Judges

gai. 19; I Kings. viii. 2), while a festival of the

northern kingdom is placed in the eighth month

(I Kings xii. 32) which is probably the retention

or reinstitution of an old custom, and has rela‑

tion to the feast of booths. Frequent mention

occurs of the Sabbath and the new moon, though

the latter was not. legislated for in the earliest

codes. I Sam. xxv. 2 sqq. and II Sam. aiii. 23

mention a festival of sheep‑shearing, the charac­

teristic of which was a somewhat exuberant joy.

The ethical character of the religion of Israel per‑






289 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Peseta and Festivals


haps led to the exclusion of this festival from the national observances.

Detailed examination leads to the conclusion that festivals of an agricultural character became religious observances, and at the same time the earlier character of family or local celebration changed and took a national form. The separation

from the natural circumstances of their g. Changes celebration is marked by exact deter­in Charac‑ mination of dates, while new occasions ter of Fes‑ of purely religious significance came tivals. in, such as the two purifications of

Ezekiel and the day of atonement. Deuteronomy is the turning‑point, where the festi­vals still have as a motive rejoicing before Yahweh (xiv. 26, xvi. 11); but the first step toward the separation of the festivals from the environment of nature amid which they arose and the determina­tion of a religious purpose was taken in the cen­tralization of the cultus. Only in the case of the Passover the Priest Code breaks with Deuteronomy and Ezekiel and makes the celebration a home affair, and the lamb loses its sacrificial character. The festal character of these celebrations was not wholly lost under the Priest Code, as is shown by the feast of booths; and Lev. xxiii. still retains recollection of the connection of the three principal feasts with agriculture. The question whether these three, the feasts of unleavened bread, Pente­cost and tabernacles, were instituted prophetically by Moses or arose among the Hebrews by adoption from the Canaanites has been variously answered. But Judges ix. 27 gives an account of a festival analogous to the feast of booths. No ground exists, however, for deriving from that source the cele­bration of the Sabbath (cf. Amos viii. 5). On the other hand the assertion that a Sabbath rest could not originate among a pastoral people is contra­dicted by facts from the life of the Arabs. The new moon festival probably arose under nomadic conditions, in spite of the silence of the earliest legislation. That the sheep‑shearing festival was pre‑Mosaic is clear from Gen. xxxviii. 13, and that the Passover had pre‑.Mosaic antecedents is shown by Ex. iii. 18, v. 3, viii. 21 sqq., etc. Just what its character was in its earliest form is not clear, ex­cept that the connection with the first‑born which it always had suggests that it was the occasion of presenting the first‑fruits to deity. An Arabic fes­tival of the same purport existed.

Besides the festivals already mentioned, two arose in later times. One of these is Purim, the origin of which Esther purports to give, called in II Magic xv. 36 the Day of Mordecai. In Maccabean times arose the feast of the dedication of the temple, beginning on the eighth of Kislew, celebrating the purification of the temple after its defilement by Antiochus Epiphanes (I Mace. iv. 59; II Mace. x. 7, and doubtless the title of Ps. 30). See the articles on the different festivals; also SYNAGOGUE. (F. BUHL.)

II. Christian: The primitive Church apparently knew no special feast‑days at the first. With the ab­rogation of the Mosaic law, its feasts also ceased, and it passed for perverted Judaizing legality to retain them (cf. Rom. xiv. 5; Gal. iv. 9‑11; Col. IV.‑19




ii. 16). The original theory was that for a re­deemed Christian every day was a feast‑day. At the same time, the need of common

I. Sunday devotional festivals in which all could

and take part led to the practise of keep‑

Sabbath. ing these on the day of the week which

from the beginning enjoyed a cer­

tain distinction as that of the Lord's resurrection

(see SUNDAY; cf. Acts xx. 7; I Cor. xvi. 2; Rev.

i. 10; Epistle of Barnabas xv. 9; Ignatius, Ad



Magnesios, ix. 1; Justin, I Apol., lxvii.). The

Sabbath too was observed to some extent, espe­

cially in the East and among the Jewish Christians.

Yet it was secondary to Sunday; only the Apostolic

Constitutions demand the like solemnity for both.

In the Roman Church, fasting was observed on the

Sabbath; but Gregory the Great declared the pro­

hibition of labor on the Sabbath to be the work of

Antichrist‑a decision which later contributed a

cause for ecclesiastical separation of East and West.

The early Church also came to observe Wednesdays

and Fridays as days of prayer and partial fasting

in commemoration of the condemnation and cruci­

fixion of Jesus (see FASTING, II.).

There were also annually recurring feasts in the earliest time. Probably the paschal feast (see EASTER) was always celebrated in some way, pre­eminently by the Jewish Christians in connection with their former celebration of the

z. Annual Passover, for memorial of the cruci‑

Feasts. fixion and resurrection of Jesus. It

was succeeded by a fifty‑day season of

rejoicing, from which afterward Ascension and

Pentecost (qq.v.) grew forth with peculiar solem­

nity, and was preceded by a season of mourn­

ing, attended with fasting of varying length and

observance. The institution of these festal cele­

brations was held to be an affair of ecclesiastical

ordering, and often required special justification

in the light of New Testament liberty. The first

Christian festival which had no connection with

feasts of Israel is that of the Epiphany (q.v.). It

was fixed on a definite day of the year (Jan. 6)

and is thus an " immovable feast," unlike Easter

and the festivals dependent on it, which vary from

year to year (see CHURCH YEAR; EASTER), and

hence are known as " movable feasts." The

Epiphany was originally the festival of Christ's

baptism. The nativity festival (see CHRISTMAS)

first occurs in the West from the middle of the

fourth century. In the East, so late as the fifth

century, they still celebrated both the birth and

baptism of the Lord on Epiphany. In the sixth

century, the feast of the circumcision of Christ was

introduced as the octave of Nativity; preceding

that time, the first of January had been widely

observed as a penitential day, with attendant fast­

ing, in order to restrain Christians from the pagan

new year festivities (see NEw YEAR FESTIVAL). The

Christmas feast was ushered in by a preliminary

festal season (see ADVENT), originally of longer

duration, but afterward restricted to four weeks;

this, too, was a season of penance and fasting in

the West (see FASTING, II.).

The three principal festivals, Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas, which with their preceding and



Feasts and lesUvals

Feine



following seasons gradually embraced the whole

year (see CHURCH YEAR), were supplemented, from

time to time, by many minor feasts, many of them

introduced only in particular districts, as appears

from ancient local calendars (see CALENDAR, THE

CHRISTIAN). Only the most important can be

mentioned here. The festival of the Trinity (see

TRINITY, FESTIVAL OF THE) was not appointed for

the Church at large until 1334. The feast of the

Blessed Sacrament (festum corporis Christi) occurred

in the diocese of Lifge from 1246, and was gener­

ally adopted in 1264 (see CoRPUs CHRISTI). Cer­

tain festivals of the cross originated in the East,

and two of them became current in the West also

(see CROSS, EXALTATION of THE; CROSS, INVEN­

TION OF THE). Among the feasts of Mary, the

Annunciation (Mar. 25; see ANNUNcuTioN, FEAST

of THE) is no doubt the earliest. This and the

festival of the Purification (Feb. 2) were sometimes

regarded as feasts of Christ as well; they date from

the fifth century (for the Purification and the many

other feasts of the Virgin, see MARY, THE MOTHER

OF JESUS CHRIST). Apostles, evangelists, and other

New Testament characters all came to have their

days; and by degrees the practise grew up of ob­

serving an annual commemoration of martyrs on

the day of their death, and especially at their

tombs (see ANNIVERSARIUB). This was extended

to confessors, virgins, and other saints, until nearly

every day in the year had its liturgical commemora­

tion of some saint, event, doctrine, or sacred object.

The large number of " holy days of obligation "

(i.e., in the Roman Catholic system, days which

must be kept by attendance at mass and abstinence

from unnecessary servile work) ob­

i. The Prot‑served in the countries of Western

estant Europe in the latter part of the Middle

Churches, Ages constituted a real economic

difficulty, and there were many com­

plaints of it. When the Reformation began, its

tendency was to sweep away the far greater num­

ber of such observances. Luther was at first in­

clined to think that Sunday alone should be kept;

but in 1528 he and Melanchthon recommended the

observance of Christmas, New Year's Day (Cir­

cumcision of Christ), Epiphany, Easter, Ascension,

and Pentecost, and allowed, as feasts of the second

class, those which had Scriptural warrant. Ger­

man custom often postpones the celebration of

secondary feasts to the following Sunday. The

Church of England retained the feasts just named

and certain others commonly called (from the old

rubricated printing of the prayer‑book) " red­

letter" days, with special services, and kept a num­

ber of " black‑letter " or minor festivals in the

calendar, with no provision for their observance.

The American Episcopal Church retained the red­

letter days, and even added to them at the last

revision the Transfiguration of Christ (Aug. 6),

but omitted !the black‑letter days from the calen­

dar.* In the Reformed churches as a rule all


rt According to the Anglican prayer‑books the feasts to be ob‑


served throughout the year are as follows. All Sundays; the


Circumcision (Jan. 1); the Epiphany (Jan. 8); the Converato


of St. Paul (Jan. 25); the Purification of the Blessed Vir­gin (Feb. 2); St. Matthias the Apostle (Feb. 24; in leap‑


THE NEW SCIiAFT‑FIERZOG


290


festivals except Sunday were abolished. Since the middle of the last century there has been a tend­ency to appoint new festivals; e.g., the German Reformation festival (end of October or beginning of November) and so called festival of the dead (on the last Sunday of the church year in memory of all who have died in course of the year), harvest festival, children's day, missionary Sunday, and the like.' National memorial days are often celebrated with religious services. The New England fast­day (see FART‑DAY) and Thanksgiving (q.v.) de­serve special mention. The custom of celebrating Easter and Christmas with floral decorations, special music, and Sermons on the events commemorated 's increasing among all non‑liturgical churches.

The tendency in the Roman Catholic Church since the Reformation has been constantly to add new saints' days and other feasts to the calendar, with liturgical observance, but on the other hand to diminish the number of holy days of obligation; thus in the United States at the present time there are none (outside of Sundays) but the Feast of the Circumcision (Jan. 1), the Ascension, the Assump­tion of the Blessed Virgin (Aug. 15), All Saints' Day (Nov. 1), the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), and Christmas.


BIBLIOGRAPHY; I. J. F. L. George. Die d1teren 1t2d'°chen Feats, Berlin, 1835; H. Ewald, De feriar'um liebroarum origins et rations, Gbttangen, 1841; idem, Alterthttmer, pp. 130 eqq: lbl eqq., 441 eqq, ib. 1888, Eng. tranal., pp. 89 eq9•. 113 eqq•. 334 eqq•. Boston, 1878: H. HuP_ feld, De Drimitiroa et sera festorum aPad Hebra°a rations, Halls, 1851‑4b: F. Bachmann, Die Feetpceetse den Panta­teucAa, Berlin, 1868: J. Wellhauaen, Prolegomena. pp. 83‑1?0: A. Ederaheim, Th. Temple: its Ministry and ,ger„,,eee, pp. 1q4‑300, London. 1874; B. $tade, Ge­schichte Israela, i. 498‑503, Berlin, 1884; W. H. Green, The Hebrew Easels in their Relation to Recant Critical Hypotheses, New York 1885 (antiaritienl); J. T. de Vis­eer, Hebreeutoaehe Archaeolopie. L 412 eqq., Utrecht, 1891; J. Robertson, Early Religion of Israel, passim, Edinburgh, 1892; H. Schultz, Ofd Testament Theology, i. 359‑369 et passim, ii. 87‑100, London, 1892; Bensinger, Archdolo­pia, PP. 388 stq• et passim; Nowack, Arrhaolopie, ii. 138­203; Smith, Prophets, pp. 38, 68 384: idem, OTJC, passim; DD, i. 859‑883: EB, n. 1505 eqq•. 1509 eqq•: JE, v. 374‑378; ICL, iv. 1438‑47.

lI. Bingham, Origin", book XX.; cf. XIII. ix. 8‑7;

J. C. W. Auguati, flandbuch der chrtstlichen Archuolopie,

i. 457‑595. Leipaio, 1838 (especially useful): R. Nelson,

Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England, reprinted

London, 1810; F. Creuser, 8ymbolik and Mythofopie der

alien V6lker, iv. 2, pp. b77‑814. Leipaia, 1821 (compares

Christian cycle of festivals with pre‑Christian celebrations);

A. J. Binterim, Denkw4rdipkeiten, v. 1, pp. 119 sqq.

Mains, 1829; A. Butler, Movable Feasts, Fasts . . o/

the Catholic Church, Dublin, 1839; J. H. Hobart, Festi­

vals and Feasts. London, 1887: H. Grotefend, Zeit­



redtnutty du n Mitkfaltera and der Neuzeit; Han‑
year Feb. 25 in the Roman Catholic Church); the An­nunciation of the Blessed Virgin (Mar. 25); St. Mark the Evangelist (Apr. 25); St. Philip and St. James the Apos­tles (May 1): the Ascension; St. Barnabas the Apostle (June 11); the Nativity of St. John Baptist (June 24); St. Peter the/Apostle (June 29): St. James the Apostle (July 25); the Transfiguration (Au;. 8: in the American Episcopal Church only); St. Bartholomew the Apostle (Aug. 24); St. Matthew tine Apostle (Sept, 2t); St. Michael and All Angela (Sept. 29); St. Luke the Evangelist (Oct. 18); St. Simon and St. Jude the Apostles (Oct. 28): All Saints (Nov. 1); St. Andrew the Apostle (Nov. 30); St. Thomas the Apostle


e (Dec. 211; the Nativity (Dec. 25): St. Stephen the Martyr


n (Dec. 28); St. John the Evangelist (Dec. 27); the Holy In‑


nocents (Dec. 28): Monday and Tuesday in Easter‑week; Monday and Tuesday in WhiWUn‑week.


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