Nazarani Church Calendar
According to the 2012 Constitution of the Nazarani Church (Section XIV Article 1),
"Although the Church recognizes the existence of an even earlier and possibly more authentic calendar, she uses the Julian Calendar for the Paschalia and for the figuring of religious feasts and holy days, in accordance with the ancient customs and usage established by the saints seated at the Council of Antioch in 341 A.D."
Originally Nazarani had their own calendar for the figuring of the feasts, fasts and holy days, and to calculate ecclesiastical time based on the Parthian calendar. The year had 360 standard days and either five or six days of Hallowing each year. This calendar however was based on extremely complex lunar months and used variable calculations which required a certain ongoing level of oversight from religious authorities to maintain it.
The decision to use the Julian Calendar sets us apart from the western secularists, who now, instead of following the path of Christianity, have been progressively, one step at a time, take away what sets Christians apart as Christians, and instead debase Christianity by having us conform to the ideals of the world which surrounds us.
But we are set apart, we are the sharbata, the "tribe" or "family" of the Messiah, Yeshue, and must, as much as we can maintain the ancient faith and traditions handed down to us across the millennia by the apostles and their successors, unto those of the present day.
Because of this, the Nazarani Church continues to honor her past traditions by using the Julian Calendar for regular time and also for the pascalion (the figuring of Easter). But more than merely "tradition", the Julian Calendar is the official calendar which is used by Christians in Israel, and more especially it is the calendar which was used in the treaties and agreements which govern the use of the holy places throughout the country.
The Julian Calendar isn't 'perfect' in the sense that the dates still drag from the equinoxes over time, but the Gregorian Calendar also isn't perfect, and thus converting from one calendar to another for political reasons is far from an ideal situation.
When Day Begins
According to the Julian Calendar, each new day begins at midnight, which is an arbitrary time as measured by clocks. Now that we have clocks on our phones and watches on our wrists, it is hard to imagine a time in which time was less precise than it is to-day. Yet before clocks were an everyday item, time required "events" to standardize when something happened, something which the Julian Calendar failed at miserably. That's because nothing in particular changes between 11:59 PM, and 12:00 AM...
Sunset on the other hand is the event that our Semitic ancestors used to mark the beginning of a new day. In the book of Genesis,
"God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night; and the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis 1:5)
Title XXI, Section D, Subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Nazarani Church says,
"in accordance with the most ancient tradition, a day, is a single space of time, which begins at sundown and continues until the next sundown."
The names of the months in the Hebrew / Karaite (קראית) calendar are actually Aramaic and come from the time of the Babylonian Exile. These are the months listed together with their Sumerian correspondences…
- 1. Nisan (March - April) - the first month of the calendar, and the month of release from bondage from Egypt for the Jews, and the month of release from the bondage of sin and death for the Nazaranayin. (This is the time that Pascha should be celebrated, we know that Christ was crucified on the eve of passover, which was the day before Shabat (the sabbath). Thus, the first Friday on or nearest Passover would rightly be calculated “Good Friday”, and the following Sunday, Qyumtha.)
- 2. Ziv (April - May) - the second month of the calendar. (Makhatha/Pentecost may begin in this month, or near the beginning of Siwan, contingent upon the day of Pascha/Passover. The first sunday of the month of Ziv should be the Celebration of the annunciation. Then the visitation of Elizabeth, then the birth of Yuchanan, then the dream of Yosef.
- 3. Siwan (May - June) - the third month of the calendar in which Shawuoth (the reception of the law) is celebrated on the sixth day. Nazaranayin traditionally used this day to celebrate the birth of Christ (the fulfillment of the law) in apostolic times. (The first Sunday of this month should be the Sunday of preparation. By right, this [the sixth day] is the time Yalida should be celebrated, and corresponds to some early accounts of the time of Christ’s birth - Yalida Denha)
- 4. Thamuz (June - July) - the fourth month of the calendar.
- 5. Ab (July - August) - the fifth month and a month of calamity for both Jews and Nazaranayin. On this month, the holy temples (all three) were destroyed. The Nazarani community was scattered, and the persecution began.
- 6. Elul (August - September) - the sixth month of the calendar.
- 7. Ethanim (September - October) - the seventh month of the calendar, and the busiest of months. In this month, several festivals occur. Yom Teruah (Day of sounding) is the head of the year. Yom haKippurim (Day of atonement) is the tenth day of this year and is marked by 25 hours of fasting (complete and total abstinence from any food of any kind. The fifteenth day of the month marks Sukkoth (festival of booths) and corresponds to the transfiguration. (On this day the feast of the transfiguration KHALIPA would have been celebrated by the Apostles. On the evening of the festival, in the garden, Meshicha was transfigured with Moshe and with Abrahim.) Shemini Atsereth (Eighth Day) occurs on the eight day following the opening of Sukkoth, and is the final day of the festival.
- 8. Bul (October - November) - the eighth month of the calendar.
- 9. Kislev (November - December) - the ninth month of the calendar.
- 10. Tebeth (December - January) - the tenth month of the calendar. The tenth day of this month commemorates the siege of Nebuchanetsar, which culminated in the destruction of the Temple and the Babylonian captivity.
- 11. Shebat (January - February) - the eleventh month of the calendar.
- 12. Adar (February - March) - the twelfth month. On the 29th day, the feast of Purim (lots) is celebrated. Traditionally, on the 27th day of this month, Saint Stephen was martyred. (At the end of this month, the counting towards Qymtha (Easter) begins, i.e. Lent)
There are a total of seven zimuni in the Nazarani Church, which are called:
- 1. ADVENT (a'yalida d'mesicha) אילידא דמשיחא
- 2. NATIVITY (Yalda-Denha) ילדא - דנחא
- 3. LENT / EASTER (Qymta) קימתא
- 4. PENTECOST (Makhatha) מכתא
- 5. TRANSFIGURATION (Khalipa) חליפא
- 6. HOLY CROSS (Tsleeba) צליבא
- 7. HALLOWING (NitQdishin) נתקדשין
- 8. APOSTLES (Shalikhin) שליחין