Friday, March 17, 2017

Reclaim True Meaning Of St.Patricks Day (Éire)

“In an increasingly secularised and vulgarized country, ‘Paddy’s Week’ is descending into an excuse for mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry,” writes D. Vincent Twomey, Editor-in-Chief of The Word Magazine.
“During the month of March, the Church celebrates two great feast days, that of St Joseph and that of the Annunciation. However, the only feast that will attract public attention will be that of St Patrick.

Alas, not because of its religious significance.”

Fr Twomey says the combination of prosperity and creativity have made the main parade in Dublin a spectacular affair, but says it is not in keeping with the Church’s celebration of feast days as “the triumph of good in the world” – be it in the lives of the saints or in central events in the life of Our Lord or his Mother.

He explained that Irish history since the Penal Times prevented the faithful from developing a culture of public celebration for these festivals similar to those in Italy, Spain or the countries of central Europe.

The last remnants of medieval celebrations in Ireland were the “Pattern Days,” – the celebration of various patron saints, usually associated with their shrines or holy wells.

The “Pattern Days” had the right mixture of piety and fun that should mark every celebration, Fr Twomey wrote in his March editorial.

He lamented the fact that major feast days have become “holidays of obligation” with the emphasis on the obligation to attend mass, without any celebration outside Mass such as music, dancing, sport or reveling that still mark the feast days of Italy and Spain.

“It cannot be denied that we have restored the fun to St Patrick’s Day. What is often absent is the faith dimension. It is time to bring the piety and the fun together.

It is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a Church festival, one that should have a special ecumenical perspective, since all Christians in Ireland trace the origins of their faith back to Patrick,” said Fr Twomey.

“It is also time to rediscover the man himself, his triumph over adversity thanks to his faith in Jesus Christ, and his deep spirituality, so needed today.

“It is time to experience the joy that arises from being able to say ‘yes’ to being a Christian in Ireland today and sharing that joy with others.”

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