Monday, November 2, 2009

Days of the Week and The Sabbath

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Exodus 16:23

"The celebration of time re-creates meaning in human life. The ancient Romans knew this surely, as they patterned their weeks to honor the planets, thereby giving cosmological import to time. Their days ran: (Dies) Saturni, Solis, Lunae, Martis, Mercurii, Jovis, and Veneris. Their times were patterned to give the heavenly bodies their due; and their pattern is reflected in the Saxon usage: Sun’s Day, Moon’s Day, Tiw’s Day, Woden’s Day, Thor’s Day, Frigg’s Day, and Saterne’s Day.

For Israel, humanity had not shaped the Sabbath, but humanity was to be shaped by it. The Sabbath patterned and symbolized life, giving it pulse and purpose. The days ascended, like steps going up to Jerusalem. The days ascended, by number, one through five, to the sixth of preparation and the seventh of Sabbath, with each day beginning at sunset."

[Donna: The days of the Hebrew week used numbers to differentiate them. Only the Sabbath had a name.]

(Burkhart, John E. 2002. Worship: A Searching Examination of the Liturgical Experience. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers (reproduced with permission from the Westminster Press, pgs 56,57-58)

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to know how pagan the days-of-the-week names truly are.

    If we came to understand that the Sabbath can be an oasis of peace in the midst of our busy lives, we would begin to truly keep it and honor it.