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Holidays

When I was young, I knew things were about to get boring when someone around me began a sentence with “remember when.” Now I have become one of those people of a certain stage of life who begins their sentences with “remember when.” My sons, in the patience that comes with young adulthood, no longer […] Read More

A sermon delivered by Robert Browning, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Frankfort, Ky., on December 4, 2011. Mark 1:1-8 “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” Mark 1:1. With these simple words, Mark began his account of the life of Christ. He throws us a curve, though. He doesn’t begin […] Read More

(RNS) A quick glimpse at a calendar is one way to see how religiously diverse the United States has become. This year, December, a month that encompasses the Christian and Jewish celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah, includes spiritually significant days for Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans and Zoroastrians. Yes, Zoroastrians: Scholars estimate there are 6,000 followers of […] Read More

We Jews are in the early weeks of our fall holy day period. There are three parts to this season that are of spiritual interest: Selichot, Yamim Noraim and Sukkot. The month of Elul is the final month of the Jewish liturgical calendar and is devoted to the practice of selichot, seeking forgiveness. While Jews […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama and some 500 notables celebrated the second of the Hanukkah’s eight nights on Thursday (Dec. 2) by lighting a menorah fished from the muck of a synagogue flooded by Hurricane Katrina. Describing the Hanukkah candles as tiny reminders of “the importance of faith and perseverance,” Obama told the festive crowd in […] Read More

(RNS) Within a short drive from her suburban New York home, Lisa Sharp has her pick of synagogues. But she is not interested in spending thousands of dollars to join a congregation, and in recent years, she has opted against paying to attend holiday worship services. Sharp understands that synagogues have bills to pay, too, […] Read More

NEW YORK (RNS) For Nikhat Choudhury, the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha mean picking out new clothes, getting together with her cousins and feasting on homemade samosas and other traditional South Asian dishes. In recent years, these joyous occasions have come with a struggle: Can she afford to stay home? New York […] Read More

If our hallowed times were holy places, perhaps we would live better. If national, ethnic and religious holidays were not designations on a calendar, but actual places, maybe our abuse of alcohol would stand in better contrast to the celebrations. Instead of living through the Christmas season, we would visit the Christmas cathedral. We would […] Read More