If one looks into the Serbian Calendar, one will see that three Sundays before Christmas, besides having the names of the Saints commemorated on those Sundays, are marked in this order as: Children's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day.
It is not known exactly how and when these Serbian customs came into being. At least no one troubled himself to do any research and find out. No doubt that they have some deep roots in the Serbian social and religious life, and though not exactly in the same form, they were practiced in every Serbian home.
One undisputed fact is that those customs are connected with Christmas. They all precede Christmas in a strict order so much so that the Church has marked them in the calendar. Being beautiful, simple and meaningful and practical expressions of Christian love and charity, deepening of family ties and affections of social caring for the less fortunate. All in all, if the Church did not directly originate them, she found them to be very sound Christian motivation.
The name of the day points out who is the celebrant. So on Children's Day, the children are the celebrants, on Mother's Day, the mothers are the celebrants and on Father's Day, fathers are the celebrants.
Each are to do on that day that what they are doing or should be doing throughout the year and throughout their lives..the only way love can be tangibly expressed. They are giving and not taking. Of course,each gives according to his or her own means.
The celebrant thought ahead of time and prepared the gifts of love according to his ability. This love within the family overflows into acts of charity to those outside of the home who need help. Even Serbian queens on this day would provide for many people in warm and solemn manner in their palaces.
All the gifts of love have been given before Christmas, all the needs within family and community have been provided for and we are
then to be all ready to receive the greatest gift ever given from the living God the Father, His gift of love...His only Begotten Son, coming to live with us and abide in us forever.
Protinica E. Resanovic
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