T h e F o u r H o l y D a y s
Holy Day Communal feast days - Solstice & Equinox days
Communal Holy Days (the 4 high holy days)
Four Holy Days are celebrated on the cardinal days of the year (transformation days).
These days are : the two solstice days and the two equinox days : the days of transition.
They occur around the 21st of September, December, March & June (Gregorian calendar).
Holy Days can be celebrated outdoors and include a picnic feast, or set in a restaurant.
On Holy Days we celebrate Christ's victory feast, by sharing bread & wine with our meal.
The feast is truly ecumenical & communal : all people, from all walks of life, are invited !
( see HOLY DAYS web page on this website for more information on Holy Day Celebrations ).
When are our Holy Days ?
The Annalema marks the 8-figure marked by the movement of the sun
The four seasons and their transition days, are determined by the movement and angle
of our Earth in relation to the Sun. There are four 'transition' or 'cardinal' (meaning hinge)
days : these being the two equinoxes (spring & autumn), and the two solstices (summer &
winter). The 4 extra-ordinary days of the year, not only signal season change, but become
for the Modern Ecumenical Church, our Holy Days. (see our Holy Days web-page).
The Four Holy Days of our Church
1. F e a s t o f C r e a t i o n
( O u r N e w Y e a r ' s D a y )
Equinox Day : approx. every 21 September
The September Equinox marks the start of our new church year.
On this day, we celebrate the creation of the universe - an act of love by a loving Creator.
We give thanks to the Creator for creating all that is, seen and unseen : and for loving us.
Today we read the first chapter of Genesis to honour our loving Creator.
After this Feast day, we start the annual reading program
at the very beginning of the Bible : the Book of Genesis.
We read from the Old Testament for the next 3 months, to see how events
in the O.T. lead up to the incarnation of the Messiah and Feast of the Nativity.
2. F e a s t o f t h e M e s s i a h
Solstice Day : approx. 21 December
Today, we celebrate the incarnation ( conception / creation ) of our Messiah.
Companions can celebrate the spiritual / mystical incarnation of the Word : the Word made flesh:
either as the symbolic or real incarnation of the word - the wisdom of God -
( incarnated in the person-hood of the Messiah, who is conceived on this day ).
What unites us all, is the celebration of our Messiah's entry into our history : " Immanu El ! "
The Conception (literal), most likely occured around December, resulting in a September birth.
This timing, is of course different to the Roman Church's Christmas. Why ?
The Bible tells us the child was born of a " virgin ". But did the Scriptures mean a virgin woman ?
The astrological time of V I R G O - (the Virgin) occurs during September.
Is the "virgin" story, about a time, not a person ?
Is September then, the real time of Christ's birth ? Many scholars believe it is.
The Physician Luke, tells us there were shepherds out guarding their flock at night. (Luke 2 : 8 )
This would not happen during December : which is winter in Judea. They would all freeze.
A September birth is also supported by events in the Ju'ish calendar :
Late September, is the time of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, when travel was
common. Sukkot was one of the 3 biblically mandated festivals, during which Ju's
were commanded to make a special pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
Recall that the Holy Family were in transit just prior to the birth of the Messiah, and
that accommodation in Bethlehem (just 5km's from the Temple), was all taken up by pilgrims.
The feast of St.Michael and all Angels occurs just after the September Equinox.
The Angel, leading the heavenly hosts in their praises, was Michael the Archangel; this occasion is commemorated
by the early church as Michaelmas (‘Michael sent’), on September 29 : the same as the date of the Jewish Feast of
Tabernacles. It would have at been highly symbolic for Christ to have been born on such a date, for he was the
Word made flesh who came to dwell amongst us (literally "tabernacled") (Feast of Sukkot Leviticus 23)
The Roman Church often usurped / incorporated Pagan traditions, into their new Roman
Christian Calendar. The popular festival of Saturnalia, was held around Solstice (December).
The festival celebrated the pagan god Saturn, and featured generous banquets and gift giving.
The festival's popularity, would have made it difficult to easily erase, so the Roman Church
simply integrated aspects of the Nativity story, with Saturnalian celebrations :
and thus, Christmas was "born" (now celebrated on the 25 December). Furthermore,
the new year was celebrated in the late Roman Empire as the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus :
the " Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun" - on December 25 !
So, as many Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on 25th December,
we celebrate the Incarnation of the Messiah, on the December solstice.
As Modern Christians, we understand that life begins at conception. Our celebration of Christ's conception
( creation / incarnation ), reminds us, that life is sacred from the moment of conception, not just birth.
(thus we encourage Christians to celebrate their own "Creation Day" instead of the state imposed berth date).
This feast day is also a celebration of the role of the father and mother, who unite to create (conceive) new life.
On this day, we joyfully study the Bible's narratives concerning the conception and birth of the Messiah.
We give thanks to God for his Son, the Messiah.
For the next 3 months, we focus our daily reading on the life of the Messiah -
from his early ministry, up until the final Jerusalem entry.
3. P a s s i o n o f t h e M e s s i a h
Equinox Day : approx. 21st March each year.
On Equinox day, we celebrate the 'Passion of the Messiah ' - honouring the sacrifice
of the Messiah Yah-u-sha on the cross. On this day, we reflect on the final weeks of
the Messiah's life, which culminates in his ascension and the beginning of the Apostolic era.
We begin the day, reading the Passion narratives in the Gospels.
This evening, we eat a solemn memorial meal : the Messiah's last meal before the crucifixion.
We then read the crucifixion, death and resurrection narratives, culminating in the ascension.
This month, we commence our reading of the acts of the Apostles in the New Testament.
For the next 3 months, we study the Apostolic era ( Luke's Acts, Paul's Roman Epistle, Hebrews etc ).
4. F e a s t o f L i b e r a t i o n
( T h e G r e a t S a b b a t h )
Solstice Day : approx 21 June each year.
The sabbath is an ancient symbol of freedom for all people of the world.
The Creator created us as free beings : not controlled from above, but free to choose
between the paths of love and evil. Thus the Creator enables us to become fully
mature adult beings : not puppets. We praise the Creator for our freedom
and commit to using this freedom, for good works.
We commence our annual Sabbatical on this Day, which for some, will last several
days, weeks or even a month, as we take time-out, from daily routines, to experience
life more deeply : some will travel to a spiritual retreat - others will study the scriptures.
We now commence study of the final book of the New Testament : the Book of Revelation.
We seek out the prophetic texts in the Bible which illuminate the last days of the
Apostolic era (up to the 70 AD destruction of the Temple) .
M o d e r n E c u m e n i c a l C h u r c h
What do we do on Holy Days ?
MATTHEW 18 : 15 - 18 has the answer :
" WE KEEP SHALOM ON SHABAT "
meaning : we rest on the Sabbath ( i.e. cause no work to be done ).
We gather for a Celebration Gathering - our Victory Feast !
We don't observe the Lord’s supper as some memorial of the last supper,
but rather as a victory feast with Christ, at His table, in His presence,
in His Kingdom - now and forever ! Join us on Holy Day !
C h u r c h C a l e n d a r
We like to say, there are only four cardinals in the Ecumenical Church :
the four cardinal days of the solar year : the two equinoxes and the two solstices.
These four extra-ordinary days become for us, our Holy Days.
The ancient Hebrew Bible states us that the earth once took 360 days - not 365.25 days to circle the sun. Some account for this difference, by suggesting an event, possibly associated with the planet Mars, threw the earth out of it's regular 360 day orbit of the sun, and added an additional 5.25 days to the annual trip. Other ancient cultures also share the 360 day calendar tradition.
" The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands "
The Heavens reveal to us, both ordinary days, and extra-ordinary days. There are four truly extra-ordinary days which act as 'turning points' (cardinal points), in our year. These four days, signal change. They are days of great significance for us - days blessed by the heavens for our benefit ! These revealed days, become our choice days for honouring our Creator (New Year Feast of Creation - First Fruits), our Messiah (Feast of Nativity and Feast of Passion of our Messiah), and our spiritual Path (Great Sabbath - Feast of liberation).
At present, there are many calendars, depending on which culture or country you live in. The Ecumenical Church has searched for extra-ordinary days in our year, that are TRULY extra-ordinary. We seek these special days, in order to take time out from our regular activities, to honour and praise the Lord and celebrate the key events in Christian tradition.
There are four truly unique days each year on earth : they are called the Cardinal Days - meaning hinge days - days when seasons end and new ones begin. They are of course, the two equinox days and the two solstice days. These days become for us, the High Holy Days of the Modern Ecumenical Church.
Our Creator has given us, four truly extra-ordinary days each year on earth. The four cardinal points create the
symbol of a cross - the Messiah's cross. This cross is also used as a symbol of the church.
The Ecumenical Church celebrates sacred time as a way of more deeply entering into the sanctity and meaning of life.
Many modern people seek a spiritual life, and not just a materialist existence. However, to attain a holy life ( a meaningful life, filled with beneficial relationships, which bring real happiness and true salvation ), companions must first strive to live a more self - disciplined life.
Self understanding and self discipline, are the keys to attaining a good spiritual health.
Rituals are an important way to create a disciplined lifestyle.
A spiritual life, is essentially a well-disciplined life : a life freed from desiring needless things (that have no true meaning or real benefit). A spiritual life brings true happiness - contentment, pleasure, fulfilment and joy. But to attain these many 'blessings', we must first, practice disciplined living.
Rituals help us to order our lives. Structured rituals are designed to invite you into a sacred state - be it alone or with others. In this sacred time, an attitude of peace, love and harmony is nourished (what we once called 'food for the soul').
This 'daily nourishment of the soul', through meditation, becomes a foundational discipline.
Time-out for daily meditation is important. We also need time-out days, where we can stop all 'regular activities of daily living', and spend more time on our spirituality and our treasured relationships.
Hence the weekly sabbath gives us regular 'time out' from daily life : time to replenish our souls and relationships.
The highest teachings, rituals and traditions of the church, come together, as we celebrate the 'high holy days' : days which acknowledge the special place, that certain teachings of the church, have in our lives.
The church, in it's wisdom, turns to the earth's own time calendar, to identify the extraordinary (sacred) times of the year, when we can celebrate the specific teachings & traditions of the church. These so called Cardinal Days, provide for all inhabitants of earth, extra-ordinary days.
The ancient spiritual traditions of " earth time ".
Many ancient people understood the importance of being connected to "earth time" - to be in harmony with, and aware of, the seasonal cycles that played an important role in their survival. From their observations, the ancient star gazers began to understand seasonality, and identify key days in the year, which signalled change. These 'cardinal days' were important in helping ancient societies to prepare for the season ahead. Thus, the solstices and equinoxes were celebrated, marking the expected change and confirming that all was well on earth and in heaven.
For us today, we can identify the four cardinal days (the two equinoxes and two solstices) as four truly extra-ordinary days of the year, which we can mark as our holy days. These four cardinal days are truly extra-ordinary days on earth - and can be celebrated all around the world.
As long as the earth continues it's cycle around the sun, these four days will repeat each year.
The truly extra-ordinary days of the year (there are only 4 of these days each year), can also be an occasion to stand back from daily life, and celebrate, reflect upon, and connect with, life in a deeper way.
The M.E. Church has chosen to celebrate the four extra-ordinary days of the year - the cardinal (hinge) days, which mark the passage of earth time (the start of each new season and the changes in the length of days) : the solstices and equinoxes.
These four cardinal days, provide us with four 'extra-ordinary' holidays, which become opportunities for time out, or holi-days - days for reflection, rest and re-creation; which helps each of us, to appreciate the wholeness of life.
Thus our holi-days, are not just a symbol of freedom, but a deliberate act of liberation.
On these days, we neither perform work, nor cause others to work.
In this way, we all share in the freedom that holidays provide.
By creating common holi-days, we enable entire communities, to take time out together.
In the modern 24/7 world, common days of rest, where most people can participate in a holiday break, is increasingly rare. We need to encourage our governments to protect the people from the demands of corporations, who would prefer that we all engaged in 24/7 commerce (which requires people to work on weekends and public holidays, especially in service industries such as retail and tourism - despite these industries being 'non'essential' - unlike healthcare).
Holidays are a sacred blessing worth protecting. Holidays free us from the routine of daily life, and thus enable us to spend quality time, contemplating the bigger issues of life, as well as interacting with different people, including our loved ones, on a deeper level.
The Ecumenical Church year commences on the September Equinox (approx 21st Sept). The commencement of the new Church year, celebrates the creation of the universe as an act of love. ("In the beginning, God created heaven and earth" Genesis 1). We commence our reading cycle of the Holy Scriptures, by studying the Old Testament for the next 3 months.
The Second Holy Day, is the Feast of the Nativity of the Messiah - (December Solstice - approx 21 Dec) commemorating the incarnation (celebrating the day the Messiah was created as human - "the word made flesh"). For the next three months, we study the life and teachings of the Messiah, leading up to his final entry into Jerusalem.
The third Holy Day, is the Passion of the Messiah - (March Equinox - approx 21st March), commemorating the final acts of the Messiah, from the entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to the Ascension. For the next three months, we study the Acts of the Apostles (Luke Acts, Paul and the Apostolic epistles).
The fourth and final Holy Day for the year, is the Great Sabbath (June Solstice - approx 21st June). This is our Feast of Liberation, when we take time out from our ordinary life, and commence a period of spiritual rest and re-creation. For the next three months we read read the prophetic gospels (ie Thesselonian epistle, Revelation), as we study the end times. This leads us to the end of the church year - the September Equinox - the Feast of the Holy Spirit - who is the begining and the end - the Alpha and the Omega.
M o d e r n C h r i s t i a n S p i r i t u a l i t y
P e r s o n a l A n n i v e r s a r i e s
O u r C r e a t i o n D a y
Companions of the M.E. Church can choose to celebrate the anniversary of their conception
(creation) on or around the known (or presumed) day of conception.
Thus we honour the Creator, who conceived all things.
Honouring our moment of creation, helps us to remember, that life begins at creation,
and not at birth. All of life's passage is sacred. The developing human inside a mother's womb,
is as sacred as a baby who has passed through it's mother's waters and now freely breathes air.
Abortion is wrong when a healthy foetus is killed for no good reason, such as saving the mother's life.
The M.E. Church proclaims that a human being's natural and self evident rights, begins at conception, not birth.
Personal anniversaries, such as one's annual Creation Day can be an occasion to offer Thanksgiving to one's parents and
grandparents, or other significant people who are or may have been important in your life journey. It should be a time
for honoring parents / carers, and also a time for reconciliation / reunion between parents and off-springs.
We should all strive to distance ourselves from today's popular ego-based and commerce driven birthday celebration
culture, which is currently in vogue in modern society. Constantly expecting gifts, feasting, drinking and inflated
accolades has only served to feed the increasingly fragile ego of children and adults.
For children, the Church suggests Creation Day should be celebrated as Family occasions. A family banquet should
be the highlight of the day, and gift giving should be minimised or reserved for the Christmas celebrations.
Children can be guided towards honoring their parents or carers by making a gift card,
a small crafted gift or finding flowers.
As an example, the First Custodian's Conception date is :
29th day after the Summer Solstice ( 20 January )
A D a y f o r F a m i l i e s
Let us not celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day. Instead, let us create a Family Day !
A day that unites a father and mother, reflects the centrality of this union and the reality
of the nuclear family, as the true cornerstone of human society (not governments, not
kings or judges, not corporations, not even priests or religious organisations !).
A thanksgiving day for honouring all the members of the family, including those who are
no longer with us. The Feast of the Messiah, is not a family re-union day. It is a day to
celebrate the incarnation of the Messiah. This day is a day to attend Church, and reflect
upon the entry of the Son of Man into our history ("the word made flesh"). Thanksgiving
Day in the US, is already a day of family gathering - perhaps this occasion can be extended
around the world, and became THE true feast day for families, rather than the socialist
Mothers and Fathers Day (by dividing families, the socialists shall conquer / control us).
M o d e r n C h r i s t i a n S p i r i t u a l i t y
P e r s o n a l M i l e s t o n e s
Four significant transitional days should be celebrated by Companions and their families.
The three key transition years can be marked with special Initiations - the Seventh Year Initiation (child-hood),
the Fourteenth Year Initiation (youth), the Twenty-first Year Initiation (adult-hood) and finally,
the 50th Year Jubilee - the age of elder-ship.
1. The Seventh Year Initiation
The 7th year is a family celebration, marked by parents or carers taking the child and siblings for a special holiday to
celebrate their child's "Creation day". The destination should provide quality time for relaxation, family solitude, as well
as activity (especially outdoor activity) - and should culminate with a family banquet. The occasion should help bond the
family together and celebrate the child's transition to their formation years.
2. The Fourteenth Year Initiation
The 14th year since Creation, is an occasion for the extended family of the Initiated to spend a special weekend together.
Those gathered, should be from the same sex as the initiate. For example, if the Initiate is a boy, then fathers, uncles,
male cousins and other significant males which are close to the family, should arrange a weekend to include challenging
physical activities, outdoor camping (if possible), as well as time for solitude and group relaxation. The family patriarch /
matriarch (or wise elder) should led discussions on ethics / morals / family / education / community - which accord with
the religious traditions of the group.
3. The Twenty-first Year Initiation
The 21st Year since Creation, is a public celebration - a banquet, sponsored by the family or carers, which celebrates the
adulthood of the offspring, and an occasion for the Initiate to thank all those who have been involved in their upbringing.
4. The Jubilee 50th Year Celebration
After completing 7 cycles of 7 years, the 50th anniversary of Creation, should be a special thankgiving celebration.
The companion is now entering their 'wisdom years' - their life experience can now inspires & guides the younger
generations. We should thus honour companions, and anoint them, as wise elders, in our community.
Other festive celebrations
Companions of the Church should be free to join all family, friend's, religious and
community celebrations outside of the Ecumenical Church.
Inter-religious friendship is to be encouraged!
Our friendship should also be extended to those who follow no religious or spiritual life !
Invite them to experience the Ecumenical Church and Christian Spirituality !