Feast Days

Feast Days

Erika’s Feast Day Guidelines*: Nothing is off limits, but you should eat it when you are hungry for it and it should taste delicious. Food and drink shared on this day is consecrated – it is building relationship.  Savor.  Enjoy.

*I made this up.  You can make your own up.  This is not codified.

You know how you felt as a kid on Christmas Eve?  That anticipation for the next morning, the familiar rituals of your family, your church, your town, what’s playing on TV, what songs you hear, what smells you smell, what food you eat? That coiled spring of excitement and familiarity, that burst forth when you ran down the stairs on Christmas morning?

I think at its best, at its core, that is a Feast Day.  Not an obligation of ritual (you *must* do this…to continue the metaphor, how you sometimes feel around Christmastime as an adult, no? Trapped by obligation?).  And neither is it a Bacchanal, letting loose for the purpose of hedonistic gluttony – we all know how that feels after the fact (hungover, indigestion, over-full self-loathing), and I can’t imagine that’s the point.

It’s celebration and joy, grounded in love.  It’s bringing out the good wine, the expensive cheese, the time-intensive-but-so-worth-it recipe.  It’s preparing and sharing.  It’s Christ revealed in the breaking of bread.  It’s refraining from some things on non-Feast Days so they are all the more special and savored at the Feast.

And not to the raise the bar too high…but there are more Feast Days than you’d think.

(The nitty-gritty from the Book of Common Prayer)

  • Every Sunday is a Feast Day.  EVERY SUNDAY.

Does this blow your mind?  It rocked my world when I realized this, for the first time, during a Lenten season.  Every Sunday, when we come together and glorify God and remember Christ’s resurrection – it trumps everything else.  We FEAST.  We get to Feast once a week.  Since Sunday’s are often Sabbath days in our tradition, this is extra-wonderful – take the day off from work and FEAST!

  • Principal Feasts  in the church calendar:
    • Easter Day
    • Ascension Day
    • The Day of Pentecost
    • Trinity Sunday
    • All Saints’ Day, Nov 1
    • Christmas Day, Dec 25
    • The Epiphany, Jan 6 
  • Holy Days in the church calendar (dates change):
    • The Holy Name
    • The Presentation
    • The Annunciation
    • The Visitation
    • Saint John the Baptist
    • The Transfiguration
    • Holy Cross Day 
  • Other Major Feasts:
    • All feasts of Apostles (Saints Days)
    • All feasts of Evangelists (Saints Days)
    • Saint Stephen
    • The Holy Innocents
    • Saint Joseph
    • Saint Mary Magedalene
    • Saint Mary the Virgin
    • Saint Michael and All Angels
    • Saint James of Jerusalem
    • Independence Day, July 4
    • Thanksgiving Day
  • *Family Feasts – not “church” feast days, but you should Feast because they are important to your family, to your relationships.  I often do “Feast Meals” on these days – I don’t take the whole day, but create one meal that’s special in that day.
    • Birthdays
    • Anniversaries
    • Minor Saints you love (St. Patrick, for example, is a common one we like to celebrate)
    • Baptism Anniversaries

So, of the 365 days in the year, a minimum of 74, and sometimes more, will be Feast Days.  20% of your days are to be spent enjoying God’s creation, your family, the delicious food and drink God has given us in this life.  One, wow, right?  Two, it’s not that hard to approach the other days of fasting or merely not-feasting when another Feast Day is always right around the corner.