A day of preparation for the celebration to come…
A day of remembrance and prayer so that we might understand better that which we are celebrating–a country built on freedom.
I relish this pause in our busy schedules so that we might remember, as a country, all of our history.
This scene, painted in 1897, by Czech painter Joza Uprka, captured my attention this week. It isn’t a summer scene, however it is outdoors and full of the color red and so I think appropriate for our notice this week.
The scene focuses on a group of 5 girls, wearing beautiful traditional dress, gathered around a sort of pumpkin lantern to read and to pray and to remember their loved ones. They are surrounded by sparklers that lead your eye into the distance so that you will notice other groups gathered in a similar fashion. Do you see the crosses in the background?
Their faces are illuminated by the candlelight and we understand their mood by the expressions of reverence, sadness, peace, calm, honor and hope.
I hope you will make this day, a day of preparation so that we might better celebrate tomorrow. Let us pause and remember our loved ones and our traditions. I pray that we use this time, not to weep for what is lost, but to build strength and hope for new life that stands on the shoulders of our ancestors who lived and died so bravely in the name of freedom.
Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly one, the sanctuary!
Your magic blinds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.
Ode to Joy ~ Friedrich Schiller 1785