And on the third day after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most blessed Mary went forth out of the cave, and entering a stable, placed the child in the stall, and the ox and the ass adored Him. The artist puts a lot of emphasis on the animals by putting them right next to Jesus, the focal point of the icon, because it also alludes to the prophecies of Isaiah and Habakkuk in the lesser known Septuagint scriptures.
The prophecy from Isaiah is more tied to the Nativity scene, while the prophecy from Habakkuk is not as famous. One of the most attention grabbing aspects of the Nativity icon is the position of Mary and the space she occupies. In some of the Orthodox Nativity icons, you will sometimes find that Mary actually takes up quite a lot of space and appears to be much bigger than the other figures in the scene.
This is to bring attention the point that out of all humans, she is the one through whom God chose to manifest. Another aspect that we notice of Mary is her positioning and posture. She is usually outside of the cave, laying on a bed or sitting down. This posture has been the center of debate giving rise to dogmatic problems at various times throughout the life of the church.
If the icon shows her to be laying down, this points out that Mary suffered during the birth as any normal mother would during natural labor. If she is shown sitting down, this points out the absence of the usual labor pain, and adds an element to the divine origin of the birth of Christ. All around the central image of Mary and the baby Jesus, are other details surrounding the story of the Nativity. We find that there are usually three areas of the icon where we see angels.
At the top right, you will find an angel either directing attention to the baby Jesus or looking at the shepherds. As usually found in the icon of the Baptism of Jesus and other icons of Jesus, an angel holding the towel represents the reverence even angels have for Jesus, recognizing Him as God and regarding His body as sacred. The angel depicted directing attention to the shepherds is from Luke , where the angel appears to the shepherds and declares good tidings and the birth of Jesus in a manger.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. The shepherds themselves are also shown giving praise to God, with often one of them shown playing a pipe or trumpet, adding human music to the choir of angels. At the top left of the icon, angels heavenly host are shown looking up giving glory to God. These angels are mentioned in the story of the Nativity shortly after the shepherds.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men! On the opposite side of the shepherds are the three magi. They are usually shown riding or walking with their gifts that they bring to offer to their new king, Jesus. It should be noted that the three wise men are usually represented as being different ages, which emphasizes that the message of the peace of God through the incarnation is given to all men regardless of their age.
A long ray in some depictions three rays symbolizing the Trinity from the star they follow points directly to the cave where Jesus is born. A detail that is often overlooked is that the star is connected by a ray of light to a half sphere seen at the very top of the icon. This shows that the star is not just a natural phenomenon of the cosmos, but a message from heaven pronouncing the birth of God Incarnate.
Augustine of Hippo
While the star is a central part of the Nativity story pointing to the divine origin of the birth of Jesus, there is usually a subtle image of a tree pointing to his human origin. The tree represents the Tree of Jesse, and refers to a prophecy of Isaiah. There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him. Depicted in the lower half of the icon are two women with the child Jesus. Sometimes you will not find this scene, and you may even find it blatantly erased and replaced with an alternate scene, as it caused some controversy in the early church.
Some believed that this depiction was not appropriate as Jesus came from a miraculous birth, was pure and did not require cleaning. Despite this interpretation, most of the Orthodox accept the image as it shows the humanity of Christ. When you read the account of the Nativity in the apocryphal gospel of Matthew, however, you find that she is named Zelomi. It was likely that since Salome was the constant in both stories and that she was miraculously healed in the story, she gained more historical fame with church tradition.
Additionally, there is some debate as to whether this Salome is the same one mentioned in Mark and Mark , attending the crucifixion of Jesus and later bringing spices to the tomb. I will present the two apocryphal stories of the Nativity below as they also serve to further support that Jesus was born in a cave. And behold a woman coming down from the hillcountry, and she said to me: Man, whither goest thou? And I said: I seek a midwife of the Hebrews. And she answered and said unto me: Are you from Israel? And I said unto her: Yea. And she said: And who is she that bringeth forth in the cave?
And I said: She that is betrothed unto me. And she said to me: Is she not thy wife? And I said to her: It is Mary that was nurtured up in the temple of the Lord: and I received her to wife by lot: and she is not my wife, but she has conception by the Holy Ghost. And the midwife said unto him: Is this the truth? And Joseph said unto her: Come hither and see. And the midwife went with him. In the Saxon regions of the Netherlands, crosses are decorated with candy and bread, made in the form of a rooster.
In the Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden , a great procession with oil lamps is held the night before Palm Sunday in honour of the Sorrowful Mother of Warfhuizen. In the Philippines , a statue of Christ riding a donkey the Humenta , or the presiding priest on horseback, is brought to the local church in a morning procession. The first Mass of the day then follows. The biggest of those reach above 30 meters in length; for example, the highest palm in was In Spain, there is a tradition at the Palmeral of Elche Europe's largest palm grove in which local people cover palm leaves from the sun to allow them to whiten, and then they tie and braid them into intricate shapes.
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A Spanish rhyming proverb states: Domingo de Ramos, quien no estrena algo, se le caen las manos "On Palm Sunday, the hands drop off of those who fail to wear something new". On Palm Sunday, it is customary to don new clothing or shoes. In Syria , it is popular for children to dress up as Easter witches and go door to door in neighborhoods for coins and candy. In Wales, Palm Sunday is called 'Sul y Blodau' 'Flowering Sunday' and it is traditional to decorate graves with flowers on that day, especially in the industrial towns and villages of south Wales.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Kurt Vonnegut book, see Palm Sunday book. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Entry of Christ into Jerusalem by Pietro Lorenzetti : entering the city on a donkey symbolizes arrival in peace rather than as a war-waging king arriving on a horse. Early life.
In rest of the NT. Road to Damascus John's vision. Main article: Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Holy Week. Session of Christ Salvation Jewish eschatology Christian eschatology.
Visions of Jesus. Vision theory Visions Religious experience. Empty tomb fringe theories. Stolen body Swoon Lost body Twin. See also: Holy Week in the Philippines. See also: Holy Week in Spain. Christianity portal Holidays portal. Eugene Boring, Fred B. URL Retrieved on April 5, Archived from the original on 18 March Retrieved 2 April Aune Brill, , p. Zoltowski Brill , pp. Cook, , p.
- 1. The Promise of God Demands It;
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- Personally Yours.
Methodist Publishing House. Retrieved 25 March New York: Robert Appleton Company, Festivals of Europe.
Detroit: Omnigraphics. Retrieved 25 September Totally Smashed! Translated by Leonard Pearl. The Hindu. Retrieved 10 June June Archived from the original on 27 October Retrieved 5 April All for Jesus, All for Jesus Alleluia! Film Fiction Songs. Category Commons Christianity portal. Liturgical year of the Roman Catholic Church. Immaculate Conception Gaudete Sunday December 17 to Presentation of the Lord Annunciation. Ash Wednesday St. Joseph Laetare Sunday Palm Sunday. John the Baptist Sts. Legend Italic font marks the 10 holy days of obligation in the universal calendar which do not normally fall on a Sunday.
Or because we are both ornery. Perhaps because we both love Dolly Parton. Maybe even because we approach this life He has given us with the joy to overcome it all and gain entrance into heaven one day. Oh the looks we got! First surprise, then happiness! All the way around- people waved at us and just smiled. I saw several stop on parking lots and take pictures- my girl, Melody, just took it all in stride- striking up conversations and inviting folks to learn more about Aunt Bea. She is really good at that- making connections with people and loving them. One of her many gifts and attributes.
We took Aunt Bea all around town, and after we met for dinner with our friend, Janice which took about 2. It has been a goal of mine for quite a while to get to do a blog post about her, and when we made plans for this weekend, I knew it was the perfect time. Hello, everyone!
I am sorry it has been so long since I posted. Life has been great, just busy and flying right on by! When seasons of busyness seem to be around, I love to look toward something that to me has always been a constant. Something that can calm you right down and bring things back to a slower pace- if only for even a little while. Growing up, we were poor- but one thing that seemed to always be around around was books. I remember growing up and aside from the Bible, I loved this book my Grandmother had that told about different kinds of rocks and minerals. I would study that thing for hours, tracing the pictures of the shiny rocks with my fingers, imagining from their description what they might actually feel like in real life.
Fast forward a few years to elementary school and my love for books continued to grow and deepen. One subject we had was called SRA and it dealt with reading and reading comprehension. I remember the day these boxes were brought right on in and set up all along the tops of our classroom library bookshelves. It was like bright light filling a dark room! There were several color coded levels, all organized in these folders.
Basically, you got to take a folder, read it, then took a test over what you read to test your reading comprehension. While math had always been a struggle for me, I am sure my dedication to trying to master it took a rather huge hit when these hit our classroom! That was the highlight of my week and I soon was at the top of the levels for SRA- a confidence booster for one who was feeling a bit behind because of struggling some in math, for sure.
So, I guess you can say, I just followed where the books led me. I also credit my love of reading to several great teachers in elementary school — Mrs. Troyer, Mrs. Smith, Ms. Pyle, and Mrs. Sneed was my sixth grade teacher and one of the highlights I have of her class was that after lunch, she would read aloud to us. Each word she read drew me in and soon I could imagine I was right alongside Laura and her sister Mary in their covered wagon, or playing with their pig bladder balloon, or the best of all- listening to Pa play his fiddle.
It soon became clear to me that if you truly wanted to learn about things you needed to really be an observer of the world and most definitely a reader.
Solomon: Man of Wisdom, Man of Foolishness
Books abound on any given subject and they most definitely take you anywhere you would like to go. The best books lead you to a place you never intended to go, but it caused you to think and grown and obtain knowledge. There can be no better excitement! I am 45 now and one thing we have an abundance of in our home, is books. So many books in fact, we need more bookshelves I am delighted to say! I laughingly tell myself to stop buying books and can soon be found…buying more books!
I have cookbooks, bible books, historical books, political books, kids books, travel books and many more. To me, I have come to realize that books symbolize hope, encouragement, knowledge, a way to broaden horizons, a way to learn to do things better and continue building on what someone else may have discovered.
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