Posts tagged ‘St. Patrick’s Day’

March 16, 2014

A Second Take on St. Patrick’s Day

by Aaron Dunlop

St. Patrick’s Day as we now know it is the product of the modern trend to make everything in life light and frivolous—even religion. The atmosphere in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day is very different now from what it was ten or fifteen years ago. St. Patrick’s Day in Roman Catholic Ireland used to be a sacred religious observance. The island was a quiet sanctuary as Catholics started the day at Mass; bars and shops were closed and business stopped.

The Roman Catholic Church boasts that the “Church” in Ireland “survived the Reformation intact,” and there is a lot of truth in this boast. It must admit, however, that it has not survived the onslaught of secularism with the same resilience. In 1995 Dublin held its first St. Patrick’s Day Festival and throughout Ireland St. Patrick’s Day has become a family carnival of parades and pop concerts, and for some, an unrestrained revel of drunkenness, violence, and vandalism.

Reformed Protestants in the North of Ireland generally ignored this holiday. Recognizing that the memory of Patrick had been hijacked by Rome, Protestants, refusing all of the abhorrent homage paid to men, chose to celebrate the ancient saint quietly and with the same reserved reverence that any other saint of God deserves in any age. Now, in the new and peaceful and increasingly secular Northern Ireland, Protestants are gate crashing the Roman Catholic celebrations and parading in the Cathedral City of Armagh.

But let’s take a second look at all of this and see who’s coming and going in this mélange of religion and revelry. The Roman Catholic Church’s doctrine of Dulia pays homage to a certain chosen few whom the church has deemed worthy of the title “Saint” with a capital “S.” These Saints are given a special day of celebration. Part of this veneration includes the Invocation of the Saints—praying to the saints. A special honour is given to Mary, of course, in the doctrine of hyperdulia.

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March 14, 2012

A Second Take on St. Patrick’s Day

by Aaron Dunlop

St. Patrick’s Day as we now know it is the product of the modern trend to make everything in life light and frivolous—even religion. The atmosphere in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day is very different now from what it was ten or fifteen years ago. St. Patrick’s Day in Roman Catholic Ireland used to be a sacred religious observance. The island was a quiet sanctuary as Catholics started the day at Mass; bars and shops were closed and business stopped.

The Roman Catholic Church boasts that the “Church” in Ireland “survived the Reformation intact,” and there is a lot of truth in this boast. It must admit, however, that it has not survived the onslaught of secularism with the same resilience. In 1995 Dublin held its first St. Patrick’s Day Festival and throughout Ireland St. Patrick’s Day has become a family carnival of parades and pop concerts, and for some, an unrestrained revel of drunkenness, violence, and vandalism.

Reformed Protestants in the North of Ireland generally ignored this holiday. Recognizing that the memory of Patrick had been hijacked by Rome, Protestants, refusing all of the abhorrent homage paid to men, chose to celebrate the ancient saint quietly and with the same reserved reverence that any other saint of God deserves in any age. Now, in the new and peaceful and increasingly secular Northern Ireland, Protestants are gate crashing the Roman Catholic celebrations and parading in the Cathedral City of Armagh.

But let’s take a second look at all of this and see who’s coming and going in this mélange of religion and revelry. The Roman Catholic Church’s doctrine of Dulia pays homage to a certain chosen few whom the church has deemed worthy of the title “Saint” with a capital “S.” These Saints are given a special day of celebration. Part of this veneration includes the Invocation of the Saints—praying to the saints. A special honour is given to Mary, of course, in the doctrine of hyperdulia.

read more »

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