Monday, November 7, 2016

Mormons and Martinmas

I really love Martinmas. First of all, it's the perfect kickoff to Thanksgiving. Second, it is a really gentle and creative way to observe the changing of the seasons.

November 11 is Martinmas. Martinmas is the festival of St. Martin. St. Martin was a soldier who, according to legend, was riding his horse on a very cold, rainy night when he saw an old man, a beggar. This man had no coat and was freezing. So St. Martin took the cloak off his back and used his sword to cut it in two and gave the beggar one of the halves of his cloak. That night St. Martin had a dream that the beggar was really Christ. He later said that his service in the military was incompatible with his Christian faith, declared himself a "Soldier for Christ" and became one of the first conscientious objectors.

Martinmas is observed nowadays by doing service and by making lanterns and going on a lantern walk.

The idea of the lantern walk is to mark the end of autumn, the shortening of days and lengthening of the nights and our ability to bring light to the darkness. And to focus on the idea of seeing the light in others (Isn't that something we need after this election?) Traditionally, you make or decorate your lantern and go with a group on walk, everyone holding their own lantern and singing songs.

Sounds like a pretty nice festival, right?

So here's some ways you can celebrate with your family.

Do a service project! Make blessing bags, take a meal to someone, go buy and donate coats.

Make a lantern. There are all kinds. Here are a few easy ones.
Jar Lanterns
Tissue Paper Lanterns
Cardstock Lantern

Go on a lantern walk. Here are some songs you can sing.

It's such a beautiful festival and fits in so perfectly with the idea of being in the service of our fellow men and our God. Bringing the light of Christ to others. You should celebrate it!