Holy days question for catholics

If the bible is full of specific details on how/when to celebrate holy days [Passover and such] why and were do all the catholic days come from? such as celebrating various saints days and catholic feast/fasting days that are not mentioned in the bible.

thanks

First of all, many of the Jewish feasts have direct Christian counterparts, because the Law was perfected and fulfilled, not totally abolished. There’s a very good series of talks on salvationhistory.com about this, called Feasts of Faith; and you can also notice this by close reading of the Gospels. Here are some examples:

Passover/Pascha = Easter
Shavuot/Feast of Weeks = Pentecost
Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles = Transfiguration

Secondly, it was always the Jewish custom that great days in the history of the Jewish people be celebrated as feasts or fasts. Some of these are recorded in the Jewish Bible, others are recorded in the Catholic Bible (as the origin of Hanukkah is recorded in 1 and 2 Maccabees), some are recorded in the Old and New Testament as having been celebrated, but aren’t mandated anywhere Biblical.

It was also usual among Jews to remember great holy people or martyrs for God on the anniversary of their deaths (as well as one’s own loved ones).

When the earliest Jewish Christians began to have great holy events occur, or had martyrs die for God in impressive ways, they simply continued to do the same things they would have done when they were Jews: they remembered these great events and great deaths on the same day every year. Some of them made it into the New Testament, and some of them didn’t, but everybody took note of the important days. (And so did the pagan Roman government, as they were always catching Christians who were doing grave visits to martyrs’ graves or celebrating Christian holy days.)

The main thing that keeps people from seeing this continuity is that we use a solar calendar, whereas the Jewish calendar is lunar/solar. But it’s not a secret. So yeah, if you look up the traditional holy day for St. Samuel, it’s the same day that Jews used to celebrate the prophet Samuel’s holy death. Not a big secret.

All of history and every day belongs to God. Setting apart certain days to remember God’s goodness and celebrate those who have been faithful is a good way of remembering that “this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

The coming of the Christ/Messiah expanded the Old Testament covenant to now include the Gentiles. So the new expanded family now has new family celebrations. While we certainly honor and celebrate many of the Old Testament (and New Testament) feasts we’ve acquired more as we’ve gone along through history.

Just as a human family “adds” a celebration when a new member is born (their birthday, graduation day, etc.) So the Christian family adds celebrations relating to our members.

Who would not want to remember and celebrate the holy lives of St John Paul the Great and Blessed Mother Teresa? What incredible people! What fantastic examples! Bring on the cake and candles! :smiley:

Well they come from Christ of course…The Living Word and leader of Holy Mother Church.
He tells the Church and the Church makes the arrangements. :thumbsup:

Peace
James

We celebrate these days in honor of saints, because they cooperated with the grace of the Lord to be sanctified. They are held up for us as examples as what the Lord can do for us when we allow Him to sanctify us by all the means He gave to us.

:thumbsup:

Holy Days dont have to be in the bible for us to honor and celebrate a saint or any other person of merit. The secular world has holidays and celebrations for people : George Washington’s Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day etc. Point is that the Church is simply doing the same thing. Remembering and honoring Christians who have earned the right of remembrance and honor. And when I say honor I dont mean “worship” like we worship and honor God. Its a lesser form.

Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith.”

I don’t know how Baptists go about trying to fulfill this apostolic command but establishing saint days is one of the ways Catholics have been remembering their leaders since at least the second century. See Martyrdom of Polycarp, written about 155 A.D., especially chapters 17 and 18, for a brief explanation of the practice.

Thank you for pointing out that scripture, and the link about Polycarp.

Thanks for references I will look into them.

to me no problem with celebrating past great examples. But making them** mandatory** is something else.

imitate their** faith.** No problem there, paul said imitate me as i imitate christ. Nothing about holy days. As I said above I have no problem with celebrating them, making mandatory to me is something else. trying to put them on level with biblical feast etc

The Catholic Church isnt forcing anyone to celebrate holy days. Has someone threatened you with bodily harm if you dont? Did someone tell you that you would be damned to hell if you dont celebrate these days? Youre free to not remember the saints and christians who came before if thats your choice, but I have to wonder why you dont want to. Is it so hard to take a moment to remember them?

And by “biblical feasts” I assume you mean Christmas and Easter? The Church doesnt put any holy days on the same level as those.

thanks for clarifying my mistake.

Just wondering how passover and biblical feats turned into “Easter” and “Christmas” since they are not in bible. Passover first fruits are.

The earliest reference we have of a Christmas celebration (that I know of) is the Chronography 354. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronography_of_354 However that doesn’t mean that that is the first time Christmas was celebrated. Christmas started as a liturgical feast, and over the many centuries it grew into what it is today.

And Easter (Pascha) dates back to at least the mid 2nd century. A festival for the commemoration of martyrs dates back to that time as well. We have to remember that the earliest Christians were well aware of Jewish calendars and Jewish traditions so it’s not surprising that Easter takes place around the time of Passover.

As for these not being in the Bible, it’s just more evidence that the earliest Christians didn’t practice sola scriptura doctrine. The Church and Christian holidays grew out of traditions and oral instructions. Not just the written Word.

but are those just traditions? than i am ok with that 100%. or are they elevated and made mandatory?

I believe they deserve to be elevated!

Making them mandatory spotlights the importance of worshiping and praising the Lord on these special occasions.

Believers should long to be at Mass and Eucharist at those days, and not just because it is mandatory.

Nothing is mandatory, but like Dorothy states these feasts and festivals are important and a part of the Christian faith and a Christian should have a desire to celebrate these days and to commemorate the birth, life, and resurrection of our Lord and the lives of past Christians. But no, in no way is celebration forced. No person has to celebrate a single holiday if they don’t want to, but a Christian should feel a desire to celebrate on these special days.

I would like to clarify that there are two kinds of “holy days:”

  1. normal, saint memorials and feast days which are throughout the calendar, which are NOT mandatory, and

  2. Holy Days of Obligation, which are “mandatory”

The Mandatory days are all Sundays and other major Feasts which celebrate and remember a major moments of Christ’s nativity and earthly ministry.

They are:

  1. the Immaculate Conception - celebrates immaculate Mary’s birth which prepared for the coming of our Savior.
  2. the Nativity of The Lord - Christmas obviously is when we celebrate the birth of Christ

NOTE: My previous post cut off, so I’m re-posting it here.

I would like to clarify that there are two kinds of “holy days:”

  1. normal, saint memorials and feast days which are throughout the calendar, which are NOT mandatory, and

  2. Holy Days of Obligation, which are “mandatory”

The Mandatory days are all Sundays and other major Feasts which celebrate and remember a major moments of Christ’s nativity and earthly ministry.

They are:

  1. Dec 8th: The Immaculate Conception - celebrates immaculate Mary’s birth which prepared for the coming of our Savior.

  2. Dec 25th: The Nativity of The Lord - Christmas obviously is when we celebrate the birth of Christ

  3. **January 1st: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God **(used to be called the “Circumcision of The Lord”), celebrates Mary raising Jesus in accordance with Jewish law and customs and preparing him for this ministry.

  4. January 6th : The Epiphany – celebrates the first adoration of the Baby Jesus, remembering how dangerous it was for Jesus because King Herod knew of the prophesy and wanted to find him & kill him. The Three Wise Men found Him, adored Him, gave Him gifts, and kept His location secret. – always moved to Sunday in the United States

  5. March 19th: Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary – celebrates the fact that St. Joseph said yes to the angel and agreed to raise Jesus as his own – not obligatory in the United States

  6. Thursday of the sixth week of Easter: The Ascension – celebrates Christ’s Ascension to Heaven after He spent 40 days after His Resurrection with His apostles.

  7. Thursday after Trinity Sunday: The Body and Blood of Christ – celebrates Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as The Lamb. Because Catholics and other ancient Christians because in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, we celebrate the joy of the Eucharist, which is observed on Holy Thursday in the somber atmosphere of the nearness of Good Friday, while on Corpus Christi is a day of Feasting.

  8. June 29th: Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles - celebrates Christ choosing Peter and Paul, two of the great apostles who were martyred in Rome. – not obligatory in the United States

  9. **August 15th: *The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary *** - celebrates Christ assuming his Mother in Body and Soul to Heaven. Provides a preview of what will come at the end of days, when we are reunited with our bodies in heaven.

  10. **November 1st: All Saints ** - A day to celebrate, remember, honor and reflect on every soul which has been saved and is with God in Heaven. Besides remember them, allows us to reflect on own path to salvation.

I pray that this is helpful

It is very helpful.:slight_smile:

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