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Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Today we celebrate Mondraniht, Mother's Night, a feast once held to honor the female gods and mother Earth in ancient German, English, Scandinavian and cultures. Mother's Night was the flip side of the Yule or winter solstice
What the Mondraniht celebrants did we will likely never know, but no less an authority than the 8th century English monk The Venerable Bede, the Father of English History, wrote in The Reckoning of Time that
"...began the year on the 8th kalends of January [25 December], when we celebrate the birth of the Lord. That very night, which we hold so sacred, they used to call by the heathen word Modranecht, that is, "mother's night", because (we suspect) of the ceremonies they enacted all that night."
Church practice was to usurp local festivals converting them into opportunities for Christian teaching. The patriarchal church fathers abandoned Mother's Night. Honoring their Savior's mother (and all women) the night before his birth might have changed history.
Whatever your beliefs, enjoy the wonder of the season, be of good cheer, and have a Merry Christmas. Thank you for being here.