As individual Christians, we face challenges and achieve accomplishments; we all experience failures and victories that basically shape our character on our journey in life.
Amidst it all, we still take the time to commemorate, celebrate, or simply take a respite–a time for reflection, or rumination. Our Christian traditions and beliefs have set for us certain occasions to celebrate at least once a year—or once in our whole lifetime—as some sacramental celebrations can be.
Some of these celebrations may just be what society dictates, but some are biblically ordained. Here are the top eight:
Birthdays are one of those days we all look forward to, but it’s also what we secretly dread as we’re confronted with the reality that we’re growing a year older.
Oh well, that’s inevitable, right? Besides, you’re the star of this day! As the celebrant, you have a right to feel special (since this only comes once a year), and you are entitled to gifts and other surprises from family and friends. However, you may be also entitled to a bit of splurging on food and drinks for your guests (again, thank God this only comes once a year!). Above all, it should be noted that among the lavish gifts and abundant food, the best gift that is celebrated during this special day is the gift of life! And that’s what you should be most thankful for.
Even before the birth of their child, parents-to-be might be are already thinking about this occasion. Baptism might very well be the first occasion a person celebrates as a Christian. It is a very significant and meaningful milestone as it marks the start of a Christian life and journey.
Christ himself was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17) in the river Jordan by John the Baptist which basically inaugurated his public ministry and teaching. In the same way, this also gives a sense of responsibility to either the baptized or the parents. By being baptized, this means that the person is cleansed and purified, symbolized by such garments as white baptism towels.
This rite also marks a person’s obligation to follow the church and live by good deeds just as the church teaches.
Some of the entries here are in a way, anniversaries themselves in a certain way, like birthdays for example. However, anniversaries cover a broad spectrum of celebrations or customs.
Again, it’s a day of commemorating a past event on a particular date it originally happened, within a period of one year. It could be a dear departed’s death anniversary, the country’s Independence Day, or most notably, a couple’s wedding anniversary. Marriages, as well as pastoral ordinations are well worth celebrating every year as sacred vows are renewed.
While these may not apply to some, weddings are certainly big celebrations which are prepared with considerable time (and money). Some even take years in the making, and weddings vary according to culture, ethnicity, religious denomination, and social status.
The wedding has also been hailed as the most important day of a woman’s life. This could be because of the thought that being a wife and mother is a woman’s highest calling. Interestingly in the U.S., a lot of couples are choosing to get married on July.
What’s with July that makes it very appealing to engaged couples? No one is really sure. Perhaps it’s just the warm sunny weather.
You know Christmas is coming when you hear its songs and see its decorations hung around or put up wherever. But maybe you’ve been anticipating for it all along and couldn’t wait for it to come!
Giving and receiving gifts, setting up a tree and adorning it, merry eating and drinking with loved ones, oh and the laughter and fun you share with them! How can you not be excited about these things?!
Christmas is the most anticipated yearly event on a worldwide scheme. It is celebrated or observed even by non-Christians.
It’s widely debated that Jesus couldn’t have been born in December because at the time of His birth, shepherds were watching their flock therefore suggesting he may have been born around summer or fall and not in December where weather conditions are cold—which would prompt shepherds and their sheep to take warm shelter.
You’re in awe of the explosive and colorful, earsplitting and vibrant fireworks while thinking and looking forward to another phase in your life. You think “Say hi to a hopefully better year” while the crackling noise still goes on or the party is at its loudest.
This could be the main reason why a New Year (and New Year’s Eve) is celebrated or expected with such dramatic fervor. There is that sense of hopefulness and expectation for what is to come. It’s a time to shed the past and move on with the future, greeting it with no less than a bang!
Perhaps even more significant to Christians than even Christmas, Easter is the highlight of most Christian church’s calendar as this represents the culmination of Christ’s passion and his victory over death, and therefore the redemption of man.
Regarded as a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar, as the date of celebration varies between 22 March and 25 April, as it falls on the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox, as established by the First Council of Nicaea (325).
Celebrations need not be grand to be meaningful
We all know how fun and dear these celebrations are to each of us. But it is very important indeed to not lose sight of what’s essential, and what we are celebrating, if at all.
Celebrations must speak of what’s in the heart. If not, what’s the point?
Regardless of what tradition dictates or whether you get to spend money or not, the happiness within that cannot be bought is a celebration in itself and that’s what really matters.
If you find yourself alone on a birthday, or celebrating Christmas by yourself, a simple act like lighting a candle at church may just give you some peace, contentment, and personal meaning to the celebration.