1

Muslims across the world celebrated on 10th July, the Eid al-Adha to commemorate the obedience that Abraham showed to God's Will,by almost sacrificing his son. Abraham's obedience would later be perfected by Jesus who sacrificed himself on the Cross. So we have the Good Friday. On Maundy Thursday, we remember the Passover of the Israel by virtue of Jesus having celebrated it. Other than that, the Catholic Church is not known to have been commemorating OT events, say the Feast of the Commandments.

My question therefore is: Are there any denominations which commemorate as Feast, events of the Old Testament?

3
  • I know of seven Jewish festivals or feasts described in the Bible. Although Christians in the West and the East celebrate Pentecost, are you looking for Christian denominations that celebrate all seven feasts? Messianic Judaism celebrates the Old Testament feasts but some Christians do not perceive these Jews as being Christian. Are they excluded from this denominational survey?
    – Lesley
    Jul 13, 2022 at 15:07
  • Does the Feast of the Commandments relate to Shavuot or Festival of Weeks? It is celebrated exactly seven weeks after the second Passover meal, where the exodus from Egypt is recounted. It is believed that Moses received the Ten Commandments and the Torah seven weeks after the Jewish people left Egypt.
    – Lesley
    Jul 13, 2022 at 15:22
  • The OT Feast days outline the plan of God for man. They were shadows of what was to come, but they held vast and significant wealth of understanding when carried forward to the present and future ages. Sadly, much of this plan has been forgotten, dismissed and replaced by far lessor 'feast days'.
    – steveowen
    Jul 14, 2022 at 11:56

2 Answers 2

3

Zechariah 14 says that all nations will eventually celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, so why would anyone think that God's Holy Days shouldn't be celebrated?

Here are four examples of booklets produced by Christian denominations that do celebrate God's Festivals (though they are now interpreted as symbolizing an outline of God's master plan for mankind):

The first booklet listed, God's Master Plan, is the most directly applicable to this question. The others present the same information, but also spend time discussing why Christians shouldn't celebrate the traditional Christian holidays.

Here's a summary of the Old Testament commandments and the New Testament references to God's Festivals (from the Holidays or Holy Days booklet):

Passover

Commanded in the Old Testament: Leviticus 23:5.
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Church in the New Testament: Matthew 26:2-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 2:41-42; Luke 22:1-20; John 2:13-23; John 6:4; John 13:1-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Commanded in the Old Testament: Leviticus 23:6-8.
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Church in the New Testament: Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 2:41-42, Luke 22:1-7; Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8.

Feast of Pentecost

Commanded in the Old Testament: Leviticus 23:15-22.
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Church in the New Testament: Acts 2:1-21; Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8.

Feast of Trumpets

Commanded in the Old Testament: Leviticus 23:23-25.
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Church in the New Testament: Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 11:15.
(Although the Feast of Trumpets is not mentioned by name in the New Testament, the theme of the day—the sounding of trumpets announcing Jesus Christ's return—is mentioned by several New Testament authors as noted in the references.)

Day of Atonement

Commanded in the Old Testament: Leviticus 23:26-32.
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Church in the New Testament: Acts 27:9.

Feast of Tabernacles

Commanded in the Old Testament: Leviticus 23:33-43.
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Church in the New Testament: John 7:1-14; Acts 18:21.

The Eighth Day (sometimes called the Last Great Day)

Commanded in the Old Testament: Leviticus 23:36.
Observed by Jesus Christ, the apostles or the Church in the New Testament: John chapters 7-9.

God's Festivals in the New Testament | United Church of God

My answer to What did Augustine mean by "The OT is the NT concealed. The NT is the OT revealed."? includes:

The New Testament presents God's plan for humanity, and shows how this plan was foreshadowed by Old Testament holidays. God's plan of salvation is compared to an agricultural harvest.

  • Passover's sacrificial lamb symbolize Jesus's sacrifice.
  • The Days of Unleavened Bread symbolize repentance and the rejection of sin in favour of the bread of life.
  • Pentecost symbolizes God's gift of revealed knowledge, and the gift of his spirit to the first-fruits of the harvest of mankind.
  • The Feast of Trumpets symbolizes Jesus's return to Earth to save mankind from itself.
  • The Day of Atonement symbolizes the forgiveness of sin and the removal of Satan at the start of the Millennium.
  • The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes Jesus temporarily living on Earth during the Millennium and the "restoration of all things".
  • The Last Great Day symbolizes the Judgement of all of mankind at the end of the Millennium, when the wheat is separated from the chaff, and the chaff burned to ashes.

The seven holy festivals are celebrated annually as a reminder of God's plan. All of Christianity was present in the Old Testament, but until Jesus explained it, its true meaning couldn't be understood.

Also see my own page: A Very Short History of the World — a Biblical Christian View.

3
  • Brief, but where does one begin with so little knowledge and even less appreciation of this material? +1
    – steveowen
    Jul 15, 2022 at 4:58
  • @steveowen, yes, I've filled in more detail now. (It was after midnight for me, and I wanted to get in an answer that provides explicit answers to the question (which doesn't mean I think Ken Graham's Catholic perspective is inappropriate). Jul 15, 2022 at 12:53
  • Excellent work. For any interested in gaining a deeper understanding of this essential biblical foundation, there is a terrific 5-part article on the two leavened loaves required for Pentecost observance. cgg.org/index.cfm/library/weekly/id/1050/…
    – steveowen
    Jul 16, 2022 at 12:42
1

Are there any denominations which commemorate as Feast, events of the Old Testament?

The short answer is yes.

Although this does happen, some Christians may frown on it, while for others it may be of a educational perspective and others may find it a way of keeping in touch with our ancient biblical roots in Judaism. Certainly others reasons may exists why some Christians do this!

While this does happen, some disagree with the practice:

We enjoy exploring the symbolism of the Old Testament feasts, but we don’t recommend that Christians observe them on a regular basis. The feasts of the Old Testament were intended to be an opportunity for the Israelite people to acknowledge the goodness of God as their provider and intercessor.

Although the Jewish religious festivals are celebrated by Jewish Messianic believers, they are not relevant to Gentile Christians. Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 that Jesus is the Passover Lamb. The Lord’s Supper, therefore, has replaced the Passover. Hebrews 7:27 and other passages declare that man has been once and for all reconciled to God by the death of Christ. Other passages such as Colossians 2:16-17 and Romans 14:5-6 declare that the Old Testament feasts are no longer to be observed:

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (Col. 2:16-17 NKJV).

Should Christians keep the Old Testament feasts?

To begin with I will start with Hebrew Catholics who in 1955 obtained permission from Pope Pius XII to celebrate the Mass of Pope Pius V in Hebrew. The ancient Hebrew language is considered a sacred language by the Catholic Church.

Hebrew Catholics (in modern Israeli Hebrew: עברים קתולים Ivrím Katolím) are a movement of Jews who converted to Catholicism and Catholics of non-Jewish origin who choose to keep Mosaic traditions in light of Catholic doctrine. The phrase was coined by Elias Friedman (1987) who was himself a converted Jew. In the Holy Land, they are gathered in the Saint James Vicariate For Hebrew Speaking Catholics in Israel.

Hebrew Catholics subscribe to the doctrines of the Catholic faith and are in full communion with the Pope. Their point of differentiation lies not in dogmatic beliefs but in liturgical practices. For example, their liturgical calendar might differ from the liturgical calendar used by Latin Catholics in their retention of certain Jewish holidays. Hebrew Catholics may celebrate Passover, Rosh Hashana, Shavuot, etc. and even wear traditional ritual wear like kippot, tallitot, tefillin, use mezuzot and keep many mitsvot (commandments) in the Torah as a sign of their heritage. Where these Jewish holidays and practices do not conflict with Catholic doctrine, they are kept for ethnic reasons.

Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew speaking Catholics: Who are we?

The practice of commemoration of Old Testament feasts and/or events is not all rare.

Christian observances of Jewish holidays (Yamim Tovim) is a practice evidenced since the time of Christ. Specific practices vary among denominations: these holidays may be honored in their original form in recognition of Christianity's Jewish roots or altered to suit Christian theology. Symbolic and thematic features of Jewish services are commonly interpreted in a Christian light: for example, the Paschal Lamb of the Passover Seder is viewed as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice.

A small number of Christian denominations — including the Assemblies of Yahweh, Messianic Jews, some congregations of the Church of God (Seventh Day), the World Mission Society Church of God, Hebrew Roots, Pentecostals and a variety of Church of God groups instruct their members to observe the religious holidays described in the Tanakh, but interpreted, they believe, in the light of the New Testament. Some Seventh-day Adventists have also adopted the Jewish holidays against the wishes of the denominational leaders.

Most point to the tradition that Jesus' parents kept God's holy days, that Jesus himself kept God's holy days during his ministry, and that the Apostles observed the same feasts after they were called "Christians". The Book of Acts chapter 2 records that the start of the Christian Church began on a biblical feast day: "And when the day of Pentecost has fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

Christian Passover

It is not common for mainstream Christians to celebrate Passover. Some regard Passover as superseded by Easter and the Passover lamb as supplanted by the Eucharist. But there are Christian groups, the Assemblies of Yahweh, Messianic Jews, Hebrew Roots, and some congregations of the Church of God (Seventh Day), that celebrate some parts of the Jewish holiday of Passover. As well, there are mainstream Christians from historic liturgical traditions (i.e., Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, etc.), who celebrate the Passover meal in order to provide historical and cultural background for Maundy Thursday, part of the Paschal Triduum, during Holy Week.

The main Christian view seems to present the Passover meal, which was held on the night before Jesus died, also named Last Supper, as the Evening of New Covenant, and Christians generally agree that was on Thursday being observed at Church. The Christian view also seems to present the Day of First Fruit, which was held according to Jewish law on the day after Saturday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as Resurrection Sunday (also known as Easter). Christian Passover is a religious observance celebrated by a small number of 1st-century believers instead of, or alongside, the more common Christian holy day and festival of Easter. The redemption from the bondage of sin through the sacrifice of Christ is celebrated, a parallel of the Jewish Passover's celebration of redemption from bondage in the land of Egypt.

Christian observances of Jewish holidays

I personally know of some Catholic parishes that commemorate the Passover as accurate as possible as to make it historical accurate as possible during Holy Week (usually Thursday).

The Wikipedia article quoted on above has much more on this subject matter:

Christian Feast of Trumpets

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated by a number of Christian denominations and unincorporated house church groups within the United States, including: Assemblies of Yahweh, Messianic Jews, some congregations of the Church of God (Seventh Day), some evangelical Protestant churches (mainly Baptist), as well as Seventh Day Pentecostals in Eastern Europe. This day of resounding is also known in Judaism by the name "Yom Teruah" and in Christianity as the Feast of Trumpets.

Christian believers connect hearing "the sound of the trumpet" or shofar, according to the First Epistle to the Thessalonians and the Book of Revelation, with the events that occur at the Resurrection of the dead ("For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first."1Thess 4:16, Revelation 1:10).

Some say this "pivotal event of all human history to which the Feast of Trumpets points is the Return of Christ". Some evangelical television channels call Rosh Hashanna eve the "Feast of Trumpets", for example at CBN TV that marks the Jewish New Year with a staff gathering for Rosh Hashanah.

Christian Day of Atonement

It is not common for mainstream Christians to celebrate Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). The New Testament refers to the Day of Atonement in Acts 27:9, but does not specify whether or not Christians were celebrating it.

Assuming an apostolic practice of observing Yom Kippur, a small number of evangelical Christians observe it today. Among congregations of the Churches of God, the Day of Atonement is observed as an annual Sabbath where members fast in observance of Leviticus 23:27-29. Most, like Roderick C. Meredith, former leader of the Living Church of God, also believe that the Day of Atonement "pictures the binding of Satan at the beginning of the Millennium and the world becoming at one with God." Children and those with medical conditions for whom fasting could be detrimental are not expected to participate.

Many groups affiliated with Messianic Judaism have provided instruction describing the evangelical significance for observance of this day.

One rationale for celebrating the Day of Atonement is that the Apostle Paul celebrated it and would not miss it during a storm on a ship. Acts 27:9 reads, "Since much time had been lost and sailing was now dangerous, because even the Fast had already gone by, Paul advised them".

Also see the main article on Christian observances of Yom Kippur

Christian Feast of Tabernacles

Jesus observed the Jewish Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles or Festival of Booths) during his ministry (see John 7:1–52). Referring to Paul the Apostle, Acts 18:20-21 states: "When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; but bade them farewell, saying, I must keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again to you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus". Scholars debate which feast this refers to, but Protestant scholar Thomas Lewin concluded that Paul was referring to the Feast of Tabernacles.

In the 2nd century, Jewish Christianity certainly kept the Feast of Tabernacles, according to 20th century Catholic scholar Cardinal Jean Danielou, where its celebration was tied to millenarianism as it is with many Christians who observe it today. Its observance was centered in the Asiatic environment to which both Papias and Cerinthus belonged. Cardinal Danielou also saw references to the Feast of Tabernacles in the Shepherd of Hermas, which would indicate that around that time some in Rome also observed it, though he believes that later on they transferred it to become something else. According to Saint Jerome, Polycarp also kept the Feast of Tabernacles in the 2nd century in Asia Minor.

Saint Methodius of Olympus (died c. 311) taught that Christians should observe the Feast of Tabernacles, and he also tied it to the teaching of the millennial reign of Christ: "For since in six days God made the heaven and earth, and finished the whole world, and rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had made, and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, so by a figure in the seventh month, when the fruits of the earth have been gathered in, we are commanded to keep the feast to the Lord, which signified that, when this world shall be terminated at the seventh thousand years, when God shall have completed the world, He shall rejoice in us."

In 1900, the Feast of Tabernacles was formally celebrated by the Southern Baptists at Falls Creek Encampment. There are pictures of the original Falls Creek Tabernacle with the blowing of the shofar to call to service. It was also celebrated heavily among those in the south, known as Bush Arbors, as late as the 1960s. From this movement came the history of tent revivals, which birthed the world-wide evangelist Billy Graham.

Today, the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles or Sukkot, is celebrated by a growing number of groups, including Messianic Jews, Church of God groups, and Apollo Quiboloy's Kingdom of Jesus Christ church in the Philippines, as well as the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). They cite God's and the prophets' injunctions in the Old Testament that the Israelites observe the holiday, and accounts in the New Testament of how Jesus and his apostles kept this commandment.

Today, actual observance practice varies. Churches may construct a communal sukkah, on church property or elsewhere, in which services are held and meals eaten, and in some congregations, dancing. In some congregations, individuals may construct their own booths which may be slept in, or where only meals may be eaten. Some members may send or exchange greeting cards prior to the event, participate in special meals, music, and worship services, and give alms. Among congregations of the Church of God tradition, church leadership selects a Feast site designed to serve a large geographic area which includes a rented hall for congregational meetings and various amenities. Members travel and stay in tents at local campgrounds or (more commonly) stay in a hotel where they may attend daily worship services and participate in recreation, fellowship, sight-seeing, and church activities for eight days. As with many Christians who have observed it in the past, it is tied to Christ's millennial reign on earth, believed to be a time of great spiritual and physical blessing for all mankind. Members are instructed to save a tenth of their income as part of a Second tithe to spend on themselves and their families in order to have the means to observe all the holidays, but particularly the Feast of Tabernacles.

Christian observances of Jewish holidays

Although not a Feast, many Eastern Churches commemorate the Fast of Nineveh.

The three day fast of Nineveh commemorates the three days that Prophet Jonah spent inside the belly of the Great Fish and the subsequent fast and repentance of the Ninevites at the warning message of the prophet Jonah according to the bible. (Book of Jonah in the Bible).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .