Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Zanchi on Festivals (7)

In today’s post, we move on to Zanchi’s discussion of festivals instituted by men with the consent of the church, of which he gives several that he approves of. The list echoes to a large extent what is found in the Litany

By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation; by Thy holy Nativity and Circumcision; by Thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By Thine Agony and bloody Sweat; by Thy Cross and Passion; by Thy precious Death and Burial; by Thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension; and by the Coming of the Holy Ghost,

Good Lord, deliver us.

On the Festivals of Christians (Continued)

That the other festivals had their origin from the Apostles cannot be proved for certain. For as to the assertions that some people make about Pentecost from Acts 20 and from 1 Corinthians 16, where Paul makes mention of Pentecost, these have nothing to do with the matter at hand, for he speaks of the Pentecost of the Jews. For he was going to this celebration without superstition only in order to teach and not to seem to be a despiser of the law.

But that shortly after the apostles the festivals of Pascha1 and Pentecost were instituted, and likewise other festivals concerning Christ not so very long after that, on which occasions, of course, the historical accounts of the mysteries of Christ are solemnly read aloud: all this is established from the church histories and the texts of the fathers concerning those days. These are the days such as those on which is commemorated the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ; his circumcision; his fasting; his transfiguration; the Last Supper; his passion, death, and burial; his resurrection or Pascha; his ascension into heaven; the sending of the Holy Spirit, or Pentecost.2

  1. I.e. Easter. I noted in the previous post that Zanchi does not refer to the Lord’s Supper as “Passover,” but he is willing to use that term (Pascha) for Easter or the Resurrection itself, presumably because of a text such as 1 Corinthians 5.7, “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”
  2. The translation is my own.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.