"Grace Ceremonies to Perform Pet Marriages."Inspired by the Pawnee Zoo episode from the hit TV show Parks and Recreation (in which Leslie holds a marriage for two male penguins), Rev. Hannah Grace will begin offering weddings for pets starting in June... April Fools!
The origins of April Fools' Day are unknown, but the most common theory is the 1562 change to the Gregorian calendar which moved New Year's Day from April 1st to January 1st. Folks slow to hear news of the change were called "April fools." Others believe April Fools' Day simply grew out of age-old European spring festivals in which pranks and camouflaging one's identity were common.
From Passover to Easter and Ostara to Magha Puja, March is an important month in the calendar for many faiths. From the well-known stories of Jesus' death and resurrection to the death of the firstborn, the tenth and final plague which freed the Israelites from slavery; to the celebration of the full moon and the Vernal Equinox; people all over the world, from ancient times to the present day, recognize this month as a time of transition and rebirth.
Just as we find fertility and new life after the frozen grip of winter, we ourselves cycle through times of fallowness that can feel like death, only to find rejuvenation and rebirth on the other side. In that way, rebirth is not an event but a spiritual, emotional and psychological rite of passage.
The poet Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote, "What is lovely never dies, But passes into other loveliness, Star-dust, or sea-foam, flower or winged air." As we approach the coming of Spring, notice within yourself the natural process of rebirth. Allow what is old to pass away, and witness the emergence of new life, new energy, new ideas and new awareness spring forth!
Though March can feel like an "in-between" month - not quite winter, not quite spring - March was actually the first month of the Julian calendar year. The name "March" comes from ancient Rome, where it was named Martius after Mars, the Greek god of war (likely because the weather became fair enough to resume military campaigns).
In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological spring is March 1st. The Vernal or Spring Equinox falls on March 20th, a time when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, and night and day are about equal length. Many cultures today begin their new year at the Spring Equinox.
Poetry and Musings of an Interfaith Minister on the Journey of a Lifetime.