Friday, May 04, 2007

Big Prayer Day, 2007

This will be short.

Today is Big Prayer Day [Storebededag] in Denmark, which is always the fourth Friday after what is called Long Friday [Langfredag] here and, I think, Good Friday in most English speaking places.

It's kind of odd, you'd think, that the day commemorating the torture and snuff job on a rather well-known teacher of our common humanity and its relation to the Eternal is called "Good".

The explanation though, is as simple as why it is called "Long" in Danish. "Good", in this context, stands for "God" -- we see this in the common farewell phrase, "good-bye", which is a contraction of "God be with you".

In times past, even bakers closed on Big Prayer Day -- therefore, the custom became that they made a special bread especially suited for toasting, so that people could have something on Friday. However, these small breads [called "hvede" or "wheats"] were cleverly made to be quite tasty and people had to stock up on them to make sure they had enough...

Today though, it is seen mostly as a long weekend in the Spring and a good occasion for families to get together. This is why I will be brief today -- most of our family will be here in a few hours and Sunflower Woman has assigned me a number of chores in that regard this morning.

Speaking of prayer, there is a place up in north Jutland called Ejnar Bavnehoej which is the highest spot in Denmark. "Bavnehoej" means "bonfire high", that is a place where bonfires could be lit to signal to people miles around that there was some sort of danger afoot.

I came by chance to visit this place back in the early 1980s and was astounded by how much of northern Jutland one could see from the top of the hill.

As I stood there gazing over the parapet, I could see miles and miles of Danish countryside, rolling hills, fields and forests in the late summer afternoon. Suddenly, I found myself in the grasp of a strong feeling and emotion and found myself quietly praying. Just exactly what I prayed, I can't tell you, but it was something like, "In the time to come, please keep Denmark from harm.".

I puzzled for a moment what had moved me to do that and then I thought, o well, Chuck, you're a crazy old sot, so don't worry about it!

Still, I do wish somebody could say a "big prayer" like that for America, I think she needs it...

3 comments:

Cap'n Rich said...

Thoughtful post, C.B..

I'm not much for praying, but for what it's worth....

and blessings back to Denmark too....

TechnoBabe said...

Happy Big Prayer Day, Chuck to you and your family. It will take more than big prayers to save America. But maybe in Denmark it is different. Be blessed.

Chuck Cliff said...

Thanks, both of you!

As I see it, the only real problem with prayer is that charlatans and hustlers have (mis)led people to believe that one can coerce or change Reality with words...

It's as if you thought you could close your eyes and say, "The Moon is made of Green Cheese!" and it would no longer be a dead rock in the sky!