November 21, Lutherans celebrate the Day of prayer and repentance.
“Day of prayer and repentance (Buß – und Bettag / Day of Prayer and Repentance) is a special day for the Protestant Church. It is celebrated on the Wednesday before the last Sunday of the Church year. Most popular in German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria).
This holiday – the Wednesday before the Sunday of Eternity (last Sunday of the Church year in the Evangelical Church) was officially established in 1892. Date of the Day of prayer and repentance in 2018 – 21 Nov.
Joint turning to God was known in antiquity. In Rome, for example, these days of universal repentance and prayer, was to prevent natural disasters and war.
In Christianity, the tradition of the Day of prayer and repentance originates in the biblical story about the prophet Jonah. What God had sent him to Nineveh, to inform residents about the destruction of the city. The Governor of Nineveh ordered all the citizens to pray for salvation and repent of sins. And then God decided to have mercy on the city.
In the middle Ages in the period of natural disasters, the threat of pestilence or attack enemies of the Church called on the laity to repent and to pray for the atonement of sins. There was a days of redemption. Some were prescribed by the authority and noted as necessary. Others, such as three meatless days at the beginning of each quarter of the year, stemmed from the Church’s provisions. Both were adopted and supported by the Protestant Church.
In Germany, the Day of repentance and prayer began to celebrate it since the middle ages. In 1532, as a reaction to the Turkish war, was the first Protestant Day of repentance and prayer. In the 16th and 17th centuries for the different territories of Germany there were different dates of the “Day of repentance and prayer.” In 1878 28 German countries it was possible to count 47 Days of repentance. Over time, this diversity was resolved, and the holiday is celebrated on the Wednesday before the last Sunday of the Church year.
The word “repentance” we often realize wrong. On this day it is not about repentance about his actions and subsequent punishment, and the treatment of the whole person to God. A day of repentance and prayer remains an important part of the Christian faith. This holiday exists to Christians deep into yourself and think about your relationship with God.
At the end of the 20th century, the Church urged Christians to hold national Days of repentance. 2 may 2004 more than 22 million Christians 56 Nations of Africa and the surrounding Islands have United in prayer and repentance for their continent. They came together in large stadiums, open areas, town squares, in churches and other public places for prayer. This event was broadcast to hundreds of stations.
It is interesting that these days of prayer and repentance do not exist only in Christianity. For example, the Jews have the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the culmination and completion of the Ten days of repentance, the most important holiday of the year. On this day people should be removed from your daily routine and devote all the powers of his soul cleansing, to atone for the sins committed over the past year, and repent.
The Muslims in the Eid ul-Fitr, it is customary to visit parents, seniors and the sick, to visit the cemetery, remembering the dead, read over the graves of excerpts from the Holy Quran and ask God about alleviating their plight.”