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Author Topic: what's a "names day" for?  (Read 1614 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: July 19, 2010, 12:25:05 AM »

what is a names day for? what exactly is it?  I know I should know this, but when is mine? (my patron is St. Tikhon of Moscow)
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 12:40:50 AM »

A name's day (or nameday) is the day on which your patron saint is commemorated. In your case, your nameday falls on September 26/October 9 (oc/nc). Traditionally, in countries where Orthodoxy was the norm, it was one's patronal feast-day that was cause for celebration, not one's birthday.
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 12:50:54 AM »

A name's day (or nameday) is the day on which your patron saint is commemorated. In your case, your nameday falls on September 26/October 9 (oc/nc). Traditionally, in countries where Orthodoxy was the norm, it was one's patronal feast-day that was cause for celebration, not one's birthday.

how interesting!  you remind me that a friend ssaid, in Serbia godparents are a stronger bond than your biologiccal parents.  one day, I'd LOVE to study the effects of religion on society.  it's just SO fascinating!
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 01:56:49 AM »

A name's day (or nameday) is the day on which your patron saint is commemorated. In your case, your nameday falls on September 26/October 9 (oc/nc). Traditionally, in countries where Orthodoxy was the norm, it was one's patronal feast-day that was cause for celebration, not one's birthday.

how interesting!  you remind me that a friend ssaid, in Serbia godparents are a stronger bond than your biologiccal parents.  one day, I'd LOVE to study the effects of religion on society.  it's just SO fascinating!

In which case, you may be interested by the rules surrounding marriage and kinship, which extend to spiritual kin as well as biological kin.  This was very new to me when I found Orthodoxy.

M
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 02:05:51 AM »

A name's day (or nameday) is the day on which your patron saint is commemorated. In your case, your nameday falls on September 26/October 9 (oc/nc). Traditionally, in countries where Orthodoxy was the norm, it was one's patronal feast-day that was cause for celebration, not one's birthday.

how interesting!  you remind me that a friend ssaid, in Serbia godparents are a stronger bond than your biologiccal parents.  one day, I'd LOVE to study the effects of religion on society.  it's just SO fascinating!

In which case, you may be interested by the rules surrounding marriage and kinship, which extend to spiritual kin as well as biological kin.  This was very new to me when I found Orthodoxy.

M
yes, this reminds me, are your godparents' godparents' your grand-godparents?  are you considered spiritual kin to them too?
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 03:06:22 AM »

Celebrating Your Patron Saint's Day

http://www.theologic.com/oflweb/inhome/nameday1.htm
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 08:34:24 PM »

Do saints of the Old Testament have name days?
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 08:55:00 PM »

Yes.  They have a general Synaxis on the Sunday of the Forefathers (2nd before Christmas), but many also have individual namedays.
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 11:04:51 PM »

The prophets who wrote the books of the OT all have their own feast days.
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 11:27:42 PM »

Yes.  They have a general Synaxis on the Sunday of the Forefathers (2nd before Christmas), but many also have individual namedays.
Thank you, father. I was named after one of the patriarchs, and would likely adapt him as my patron if I converted (which I have every intent to do). It's nice to know I'll still have something to celebrate.
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2010, 12:00:08 AM »

A celebration of whom you are to emulate, rather than the ego-feast known as a birthday.
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2010, 12:06:16 AM »

A celebration of whom you are to emulate, rather than the ego-feast known as a birthday.

Bad things happen at birthday celebrations, like the beheading of prophets.
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 12:09:32 AM »

A celebration of whom you are to emulate, rather than the ego-feast known as a birthday.
Absolutely! I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2010, 02:10:35 AM »

A celebration of whom you are to emulate, rather than the ego-feast known as a birthday.
amen to that!  I can see how a birthday, the celebration of one's self, is the very defanition of vanity!  on your names day, you celebrate a little bit of yourself, your saint, and you being an Orthodox Christian.  what a wonderful tradition! Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 08:40:03 PM »

If your name day occurs during a fasting period, do the fasting rules relax, or remain rigid?
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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2011, 10:11:47 PM »

If your name day occurs during a fasting period, do the fasting rules relax, or remain rigid?

I've never been told to relax them! What I do, is if my name day is on a fast day, I'll just cook fancier fasting food, such as a shrimp dish I love and save for special occasions.
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2011, 10:24:19 PM »

That's a good idea. Thanks!
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2011, 10:26:00 PM »

If your name day occurs during a fasting period, do the fasting rules relax, or remain rigid?

I suppose it depends on the fast and the day. I think one can make a case for wine and oil on one's feast day, but probably not a steak.
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2011, 07:17:37 PM »

A name's day (or nameday) is the day on which your patron saint is commemorated. In your case, your nameday falls on September 26/October 9 (oc/nc). Traditionally, in countries where Orthodoxy was the norm, it was one's patronal feast-day that was cause for celebration, not one's birthday.

how interesting!  you remind me that a friend ssaid, in Serbia godparents are a stronger bond than your biologiccal parents.  one day, I'd LOVE to study the effects of religion on society.  it's just SO fascinating!

In which case, you may be interested by the rules surrounding marriage and kinship, which extend to spiritual kin as well as biological kin.  This was very new to me when I found Orthodoxy.

M
yes, this reminds me, are your godparents' godparents' your grand-godparents?  are you considered spiritual kin to them too?

If you're baptised as a baby, then they are responsible for your soul and how you turn out.  They will have to answer to God.  Adult converts don't need god-parents.  They choose conversion of their own free-will.
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2011, 07:21:41 PM »

The best solution to naming a baby is to name him or her for the saint of that day of birth, then you truely celebrate the saint and the day God chose your baby to be born. 
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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2011, 07:36:32 PM »

If your name day occurs during a fasting period, do the fasting rules relax, or remain rigid?

I've heard different things about this.

That said, the local Antiochian priest and his family have a Slava (which is actually a Serbian practice, go figure!), St. Patrick, who always falls in Lent (March 17). He relaxes the celebration to Fish/Wine/Oil. My priest has actually used this as a perfectly acceptable economy when this occurs (with a blessing from your spiritual father/mother, of course!).
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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2011, 08:50:31 PM »

My immediate reaction when I saw the title of this thread was "Cake."  laugh  laugh  laugh
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« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2011, 03:06:58 AM »

If your name day occurs during a fasting period, do the fasting rules relax, or remain rigid?

I've never been told to relax them! What I do, is if my name day is on a fast day, I'll just cook fancier fasting food, such as a shrimp dish I love and save for special occasions.


This is why you shouldn't choose a patron saint whose day falls in a fast Wink  My name saint (St Margaret Zakachurina, nun and new martyr) is in Advent (on both calendars)  and the anniversary of my baptism is in Lent so I've given myself New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and All Saints of Russia as a second name days in which I can have cake...

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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2011, 04:27:10 AM »

[his is why you shouldn't choose a patron saint whose day falls in a fast Wink  My name saint (St Margaret Zakachurina, nun and new martyr)

I know this holy nun and martyr was added to the canon of the Saints in 2000 and you must be among the first to bear her name.  A unique privilege which must establish a close relationship between the two of you.

Here's something about her life, but in Russian

http://www.pstbi.ru/bin/nkws.exe/eng/nm/?HYZ9EJxGHoxITYZCF2JMTcGUse0EdO0Ve8icse1ae8VyAXIiAH6iAHYpBbu2dOiUTawlA0slAHA*
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2011, 09:03:11 AM »

To add to this discussion, name days were the focus of celebrations historically also, because most  the faithful were largely illiterate and birthday's were not necessarily recalled, but the church's commemoration would be the guide as to when an individual's name day was celebrated.

Also, I never read or heard anything from the Orthodox Church about relaxing fasting rules due to a church feast day or a day a saint is commemorated, except as noted by the church, such as the Feast Day of the Annunciation to the Theotokos.  The Feast Day of St. George the Great Martyr is delayed if it occurs during the Great 40 Day Fast, to the day after Pascha, if I'm not mistaken.  I've seen bishops of Roman Catholic dioceses "relax" fast rules for the day St. Patrick the Enlighter of Ireland is commemorated.  In the RC diocese in which I reside, a previous bishop would routinely "relax" the fast rules on March 17th, but the current bishop announces routinely that fast rules should not be "relaxed" for this feast.
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2011, 09:05:09 AM »

I looked it up, and my name day would be on the Dormition. I get a sad day...  Wink angel
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2011, 09:08:10 AM »

I looked it up, and my name day would be on the Dormition. I get a sad day...  Wink angel

What's your name?  And technically, it's a Feast Day, which doesn't make it sad.  Of course, you are referring to the actual event which I understand.  But, we can also eat that day.   Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2011, 09:12:29 AM »

Donna Marie.  Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2011, 01:09:11 PM »

The Dormition is sad only from a purely earthly perspective.  Study the icon of the feast, and look at the mandorla; Christ is holding the newborn soul of the Theotokos, in a form-reversal of the usual Theotokos & Child icon.

There's a reason why we celebrate Saints on the day of their earthly death, because it is the day of their Heavenly birth.
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2011, 03:28:51 PM »

Thank you. That does make a difference.   Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2011, 04:49:21 AM »

It may be worth noting, that on one's name day, among some Orthodox communions it is traditional to do something nice for someone else, preferably someone who would not be in a position to repay…at least not easily.  It's like an anti-birthday.  I knew one guy who for a few years while he was able would spend a couple of days cooking and then lay out a big spread on his name day for all the custodians and groundskeepers at the place where he worked. In the Serbian custom, on the family Saint's name day, they throw a big feast for friends and neighbors but are careful to invite some of the poor in the community to their gathering….which is interesting to me if you think about it.  In a large enough community of Orthodox families, there could be a couple of family feasts a week or more, and at each one some of the poor are being taken care of.  That strikes me as a lovely tradition.
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