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Old 04-15-2019, 08:21 PM
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Question on using the term "high holidays"


Hi

Is the term "high holidays" only used in a Jewish religious context or does it extend to Christian holidays? Is Easter among Catholics a high holiday? I have only seen 'high holidays"used in a Jewish context.

I look forward to your feedback.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:00 PM
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AFAIK the phrase is only used for the period of the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Christianity distinguishes the "great feasts" or "major festivals" etc. from minor holidays, but I don't think they're ever called "high holidays".
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
AFAIK the phrase is only used for the period of the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Christianity distinguishes the "great feasts" or "major festivals" etc. from minor holidays, but I don't think they're ever called "high holidays".
Right. And the alternative is calling the Jewish observances as "High Holy Days", which is how I knew them. I am unaware of an equivalency in Christianity.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:03 PM
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Catholics consider Easter to be the greatest of all events (Catholics have an "Easter duty") but they don't use the term "High Holidays," or "high holy days."
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:32 PM
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I've been a member of four different Christian denominations (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, CMA), and haven't ever heard the term used in reference to Christian holidays.

Christians certainly consider Easter and Christmas to be their two most important holidays / holy days, but, in any of the denominations I've been in, there hasn't been a special term to describe them.

I wonder if part of the reason that there's a particular term for High Holidays in Judaism is their close proximity to each other on the calendar.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:16 AM
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The term "High Holidays" is the accepted English translation of the Hebrew term "הימים הנוראים", literally: "Days of Awe", which refer to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (and arguably, the 10 days between them). It's supposed to be the time one repents from all of one's sins from the past year.

(That's why, BTW, you never say "happy Yom Kippur". If you're having a happy Yom Kippur, you're doing it wrong).

Last edited by Alessan; 04-16-2019 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:06 AM
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I’m thinking this is more a GQ. I’ll movr it there.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
Catholics consider Easter to be the greatest of all events (Catholics have an "Easter duty") but they don't use the term "High Holidays," or "high holy days."
No, I believe the highest in Christianity is Pentecost.

And the nearest equivalent term for Christians is Holy Week.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:54 AM
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"high days and holidays" is, or was, a commonly used phrase in the UK. "High days and holidays can be especially difficult for older people living on their own, so if you have an elderly friend or relative, pay them a visit today. On high days and holidays, the council building opens its doors and hosts a number of free activities for the public to enjoy."

"Holiday obviously relates to 'holy day' and especially the main ones (and Sundays) when many people got a day off work - Easter, Christmas etc. In the UK, we also have 'bank' holidays which are public holidays not related to religion (unless you worship Mammon). I am guessing that some hack coined the phrase "high days and holidays" and it caught on, partly because of the alliteration.

'high' is frequently used to mean special - high spirits; a high old time; high standards and so on.

Last edited by bob++; 04-16-2019 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Christians certainly consider Easter and Christmas to be their two most important holidays / holy days, but, in any of the denominations I've been in, there hasn't been a special term to describe them.
In Spanish those two plus Pentecost are all grouped under the label Pascuas, which is also the word used for Passover. It can also mean a holiday in general (although that concept is antiquated) and if we say someone "resembled Pascuas" (estaba hecho unas Pascuas) it means they were extremely happy and felt the need to share whatever the good news were with the rest of the world. Not giving individual translations for each expression because they mean pretty much what I'd expect any English speaker to guess.


Easter = Pascua, Pascua de Resurrección. The complete period from Palms Sunday until Easter Sunday both included, Semana Santa (Holy Week).

Christmas day = Pascua de la Natividad, Navidad
the whole holiday period from Christmas Eve until the Epiphany is called las Pascuas Navideñas.

Pentecost = (Pascua de) Pentecostés, Pascua del Espíritu, Pascua del Espíritu Santo


Passover = Pascua judía


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net View Post
No, I believe the highest in Christianity is Pentecost.

And the nearest equivalent term for Christians is Holy Week.
For Catholics and as kunilou says, Resurrection Sunday aka Easter Sunday. Pentecost is kind of… the appendix to the Resurrection.
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Last edited by Nava; 04-16-2019 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
The term "High Holidays" is the accepted English translation of the Hebrew term "הימים הנוראים", literally: "Days of Awe", which refer to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (and arguably, the 10 days between them). It's supposed to be the time one repents from all of one's sins from the past year.

(That's why, BTW, you never say "happy Yom Kippur". If you're having a happy Yom Kippur, you're doing it wrong).
I knew not to wish someone a happy Yom Kippur, but is there something that is appropriate to say to recognize the importance of the day to a friend, colleague, etc.?
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
"high days and holidays" is, or was, a commonly used phrase in the UK. "High days and holidays can be especially difficult for older people living on their own, so if you have an elderly friend or relative, pay them a visit today. On high days and holidays, the council building opens its doors and hosts a number of free activities for the public to enjoy."

"Holiday obviously relates to 'holy day' and especially the main ones (and Sundays) when many people got a day off work - Easter, Christmas etc. In the UK, we also have 'bank' holidays which are public holidays not related to religion (unless you worship Mammon). I am guessing that some hack coined the phrase "high days and holidays" and it caught on, partly because of the alliteration.

'high' is frequently used to mean special - high spirits; a high old time; high standards and so on.
I heard an American Catholic Bishop use the term in the context Notre Dame fire during the Easter period. So I think using the term high holidays may be an antiquated term among lay people, but maybe not among the clergy.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:20 AM
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For many of us not entrenched in judeo-christian ideology, this coming Saturday is our high holiday.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Emiliana View Post
I knew not to wish someone a happy Yom Kippur, but is there something that is appropriate to say to recognize the importance of the day to a friend, colleague, etc.?
Simply wish them "Well over the fast."

I have heard "Happy Yom Kippur" as a joke.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
Simply wish them "Well over the fast."

I have heard "Happy Yom Kippur" as a joke.
Thank you!
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net View Post
No, I believe the highest in Christianity is Pentecost.

And the nearest equivalent term for Christians is Holy Week.
For Catholics there are also "Holy Days of Obligations" https://www.catholic.com/magazine/on...-of-obligation
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:13 PM
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For many of us not entrenched in judeo-christian ideology, this coming Saturday is our high holiday.
It's hard to see what you did there through all the smoke.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:25 PM
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For many of us not entrenched in judeo-christian ideology, this coming Saturday is our high holiday.
Wait, passover isn't part of judeo-christian ideology now?

Incidentally, my phone wanted to autocorrect that to judo-christian or nude-Christian.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:39 PM
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Wait, passover isn't part of judeo-christian ideology now?
Kayaker was making a joke. This coming Saturday is 4/20, a.k.a. a day to celebrate marijuana.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:02 PM
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No, I believe the highest in Christianity is Pentecost.
For Christian churches with an evangelical bent (I do not mean fundamentalist. Evangelical is different, although there's overlap between the two groups) Pentecost is a very big deal. It's the celebration of when the Apostles went forth to proclaim the Word of God to all the world.

For others, like Catholics, Easter is considered more important because it marks Christ's (and our) triumph over death and eternal damnation.

Theologically speaking, Christmas has never been as "important" as the other two. It's certainly big, but so is Good Friday, the Ascension, the Transfiguration and some others.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:59 PM
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Catholic here:

The exact term "high holy days" is particular to Judaism, in English anyway. But there are Catholic equivalents.

The week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is called Holy Week, which contains the Triduum.

Beginning the night of Holy Thursday (called Maundy Thursday in the Anglican tradition, after the word mandatum, commandment -- it is the commemoration of the Last Supper, when Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment to "love one another"), through Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, is the holiest period of the liturgical year, this is the Triduum; because there are three nights.

Christmas is a Holy Day of Obligation (which only means you have to attend a Mass whether it falls on Sunday or not, along with a number of other celebrations which have not been secularized, included the Solemnity of Mary (January 1st), the Assumption (Mary is 'assumed' into heaven), The Immaculate Conception (Mary again -- celebrating her being born without sin), the Ascension (Jesus ascends to heaven after Pentecost), All Saints (day after All Souls which is Halloween).

By the way, the solar/lunar formula that determines when Easter falls each year deliberately ensures that it does not coincide exactly with Passover.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:15 PM
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I knew not to wish someone a happy Yom Kippur, but is there something that is appropriate to say to recognize the importance of the day to a friend, colleague, etc.?
Have a cleansingly rueful Yom Kippur?













And some chicken soup. Eat it! It's good for you!
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:28 PM
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Catholic here:

The exact term "high holy days" is particular to Judaism, in English anyway. But there are Catholic equivalents.

The week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is called Holy Week, which contains the Triduum.

Beginning the night of Holy Thursday (called Maundy Thursday in the Anglican tradition, after the word mandatum, commandment -- it is the commemoration of the Last Supper, when Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment to "love one another"), through Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, is the holiest period of the liturgical year, this is the Triduum; because there are three nights.

Christmas is a Holy Day of Obligation (which only means you have to attend a Mass whether it falls on Sunday or not, along with a number of other celebrations which have not been secularized, included the Solemnity of Mary (January 1st), the Assumption (Mary is 'assumed' into heaven), The Immaculate Conception (Mary again -- celebrating her being born without sin), the Ascension (Jesus ascends to heaven after Pentecost), All Saints (day after All Souls which is Halloween).

By the way, the solar/lunar formula that determines when Easter falls each year deliberately ensures that it does not coincide exactly with Passover.
Thanks Ulfreida.

I found this using the words 'high holy':

"The fifty days of Easter (or Eastertide) constitute the high holy season of the Christian year of grace. "

A Prayer Book of Catholic Devotions: Praying the Seasons and Feasts of the ..
https://books.google.com/books?id=9M...Easter&f=false

and here:

Triduum - The Catholic Company
https://www.catholiccompany.com/getf...um-what-is-it/
A commenter writes:
"This is an excellent summary of the Easter Triduum and anything that helps to promote these high holy days of the church are deeply appreciated."
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:33 PM
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When I told my wife about this thread and my response, she reminded me that the phrase, "Wish you well over the fast" is apparently British and we saw it on a sign in a restaurant in a restaurant in the east end of London called Blooms, that we ate in 55 years ago. But I have used it and I still think entirely appropriate.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Emiliana View Post
I knew not to wish someone a happy Yom Kippur, but is there something that is appropriate to say to recognize the importance of the day to a friend, colleague, etc.?
I generally use "meaningful" when I am not sure of the nature of some holiday. (There is some kind of Chinese Cemetery holiday which friends observe and I still don't know what the perceived function or mood is supposed to be. And I can never remember its official name.) "Meaningful" covers everything from Easter to Diwali to Yom Kippur to Talk Like a Pirate Day.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:09 PM
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PS Among my people, the "high holy days" refer to what the non-observant would call "Big Game Week".
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:47 PM
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Kayaker was making a joke. This coming Saturday is 4/20, a.k.a. a day to celebrate marijuana.
Only partially joking. Cannabis has contributed in an extremely positive way to my life. And it's real, which is more than I believe about the gods people worship. Puff and then to the left.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:39 PM
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I've been a member of four different Christian denominations (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, CMA), and haven't ever heard the term used in reference to Christian holidays.
.
Some branches of the various Orthodox Catholic Churches that I know of sometimes use the term "High Holy Days" to differentiate from the various "feast days" we observed. But some of us on the Russian Orthodox side tend to be a bit Petrine in our doctrine and a fair amount of the Jewish traditions, in a sense, are followed. It is fading somewhat as even the Original Ritualists have advanced slightly (call it roughly the yeat 1550 ) but it still crops up now and then.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:40 AM
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Some branches of the various Orthodox Catholic Churches that I know of sometimes use the term "High Holy Days" to differentiate from the various "feast days" we observed. But some of us on the Russian Orthodox side tend to be a bit Petrine in our doctrine and a fair amount of the Jewish traditions, in a sense, are followed. It is fading somewhat as even the Original Ritualists have advanced slightly (call it roughly the yeat 1550 ) but it still crops up now and then.
Thanks kopek for confirming what I had heard. Thank you all.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:26 PM
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For many of us not entrenched in judeo-christian ideology, this coming Saturday is our high holiday.
I'm not religious, never heard the term "high holiday." I clicked the link thinking this was surely about 4/20.
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