On feasting

“Feast means joy. Yet, if there is something that we – the serious, adult and frustrated Christians of the twentieth century – look at with suspicion, it is certainly joy. How can one be joyful when so many people suffer? When so many things are to be done? How can one indulge in festivals and celebrations when people expect from us ‘serious’ answers to their problems? Consciously or subconsciously Christians have accepted the whole ethos of our joyless and business-minded culture. They believe that the only way to be taken ‘seriously’ by the ‘serious’ – that is, by modern man – is to be serious, and, therefore, to reduce to a symbolic ‘minimum’ what in the past was so tremendously central in the life of the Church – the joy of a feast. The modern world has relegated joy to the category of ‘fun’ and ‘relaxation.’ It is justified and permissible on our ‘time off’; it is a concession, a compromise. And Christians have come to believe all this, or rather they have ceased to believe that the feast, the joy have something to do precisely with the ‘serious problems’ of life itself, may even be the Christian answer to them.” (Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy)

Category: Of Worship and Work Comment »

Comments are closed.

Back to top