The oldest cultural and religious rituals were built around the hours of daylight and darkness, Summer and Winter Solstice and the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox. The Feast of Jonah is celebrated the Sunday following the Autumnal Equinox, when the hours of darkness begin to surpass the hours of light in a day.
Long before Christianity established this feast, the Equinox was marked by rituals in most every culture. It can be seen as a time when we make the first steps toward death, on many levels. It is a time of turning inward, of going down into ourselves, our dens, the earth. It is a period of contemplation.
House of Mercy will celebrate the Feast of Jonah on Sunday, September 26th at 5pm. Artists, musicians, writers, and chefs will create original work, looking deep into the traditions of this Feast, from the pagan to the post-modern. With musical guests Mike Gunther and the church’s new house musicians, The Blood Washed Band (led by Page Burkum of the Cactus Blossums).
“People are increasingly interested in eating close to the land and living close to the land; this is a kind of worshiping close to the land,” said Russell Rathbun, a pastor at House of Mercy. “We don’t want to ignore that many Christian celebrations have been built on top of many older and diverse traditions; we want to explore them.”