01 May 2008

From the "madpriest" - A liberationist sermon for Ascension Day, May Day, and International Worker's Day

Thursday, May 01, 2008

a liberationist sermon for
Ascension day, May day and
international workers' day

I love the Church Calendar. The high days and holy days, and especially the seasons of the Church year. They make me feel comfortable and part of something very ancient and which will continue, hopefully, long after I’m gone. Every year the liturgy, attached, as it is, to the calendar of the Church, leads me on a journey which is paradoxically, both, always the same and, if you are open to the Spirit of God, always full of novelty and new experiences.

There was a time, during the Middle Ages, when the Church Calendar dictated the social life of the nation. There were an incredible number of holy days and people regarded them as holidays, days on which they did not work. We tend to think that back then life was just ceaseless toil, but that is not true - we work far harder and for longer hours nowadays than our ancestors did 600 years ago. Unfortunately, Oliver Cromwell and his fellow puritans put a stop to most of these enjoyments and then the nail was finally put in the coffin of civilised working practices during the industrial revolution when working people in our country became little more than slaves.

During the early part of the 20th. Century there was a move in England to give some time back to the working classes. We began to be given bank holidays and some of these holidays were holy days or followed holy days. Unfortunately, that was a short lived era and, as our country becomes more and more unchristianised, the link between bank holidays and religion becomes ever weaker. Even the concept of national holidays is pretty much out the window now. Business would have every commercial enterprise open 365 days of the year if they could and it won’t be long before they achieve that. As usual, it is the poorer people of our land who suffer most - shopworkers, cleaners, call-centre staff, lorry drivers even.

The problem is that nobody wants to stop. Both as a nation and as individuals, we have an overwhelming fear of not being busy and also an overwhelming urge to rush on to the next thing.

Read the rest HERE.

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