Espreso. Global
OPINION

To celebrate or not: Finding meaning amidst war

24 December, 2023 Sunday
17:13

This question often sparks debates online, leading to outright rebuttals. Some wonder, "How can we celebrate during wartime?"

In my view, the negativity surrounding this question stems from a distorted understanding of "celebration."

During the Soviet era, "celebration" often meant public entertainment and a slight improvement in daily life.

Modern times have seen a more utilitarian view of celebration, coupled with commercial trends pushing for increased sales at any event, be it Christmas or Halloween.

Yet, the word "holiday" ("holy day") primarily invokes a sense of holiness.

Holiness isn't about entertainment or increased sales. It signifies separation, taking something out of the ordinary.

God is holy because He stands apart from the world, remaining distinct. Holy days are moments when we set aside the ordinary for something special, honoring events and individuals whose significance is not mundane but eternal.

We designate special days to intertwine them with the profound meaning of history as a dialogue between God and humanity. On these holy days, we dedicate our words, thoughts, and actions to something beyond ourselves and the present – a higher power.

So, should we celebrate during war?

It's better to restrain utilitarian, consumer-oriented celebrations.

However, it's crucial to commemorate through a profound connection to truths and traditions linked to eternity.

War, among other things, is a struggle for truth, the eternal, and the holy.

Source

About the author. Evstratiy Zorya, hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, spokesman of the Holy Synod, deputy head of the Department of External Church Relations of the OCU

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors. 

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