sundayword:BY PROSPER TINGINI
It bothers me each time I reflect on the origins of the names given to the table of days and months on our cherished register. To begin with the week, God gave a numeric order to the seven days in accordance with his works of creation. On the first day of His works He created both the light of the Day and the darkness of the Night (Genesis 1:3-5). It was Day One or First Day to the Lord. Our Roman calendar has named the day as Sunday (Sun-day) in honour of a pagan god that symbolised the sun. The Romans worshipped a ‘sun god’ who had no relationship with our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Father of Jesus Christ.
On the second day of God’s creations He separated the waters to create an expanse of sky, which He called Heaven. He called it Day Two, or Second Day. The Roman calendar we use today named the second day in honour of another of their pagan gods, whom they imagined to be “a god of the Moon”, hence naming it Monday (Moon day). I personally wish we could name this day as Heavens Day or other. Due to my limited space, I cannot go on to speak of each of the days of God’s works, nor the Roman calendar assigned names to each of the other days. I will however touch on the seventh day as the last day of the week on which the Lord rested from his works of creation.
The common denominator in the naming of the days of the week by the Romans was mostly to give honour to their pagan gods, a factor which we are still promoting and perpetuating endlessly. While we Christians always speak of “seeing the light” or “being born again” it seems we will always remain shackled to the honours of pagan gods. What a shame to the Lord our God! We are bound to the paganism of the Roman Empire system of worship which failed to recognise our One God, and we are giving credence to it.
Back to the last day of the week, Saturday, the day on which the Lord rested from His works of creation, the seventh day. Again our prized calendar names the day after the Roman pagan god named after the ancient discovery of the planet Saturn. It is actually called Saturn Day, shortened to Saturday as a single word.
The word “day” was just added to the names of the worshipped gods to make them single words. Am happy there is also an alternative name, Sabbath, to refer to the seventh day in some Christian circles. However, in other Christian denominations they would want to label Sunday as their Sabbath for the purposes of a rest day, creating confusion. In accordance with the Lord’s module and in relation to his works of creation, He just labelled it as the Seventh Day, to give a numeric value and meaning to it, nothing else. God named all the other days of the week by the numbers, according to the days and nights that had passed since Day One or First Day of His works of creation.
Why we continue to stick with the pagan oriented names of days of the weeks and months boggles my mind. In my Shona culture, the majority of the days are numbered by their numeric order, in line with God’s own system of naming week days. The first day we call Muvhuro, meaning the ‘opener’, as in the opening day of the week. It is as good as calling it first day in alternative English terms. The second day of the week we call it Chipiri, meaning ‘the day that follows the first’. This is perfectly in accordance with the Divine numeric naming of days. The third day of the week we call it Chitatu, again in synonymity with God’s own numeric sequence of naming, as it means ‘third’. The fourth day on the Shona weekly calendar is referred to as China, meaning ‘fourth’, as in ‘fourth day’ of English the equivalent. The Friday is referred to as Chishanu meaning ‘the fifth’.
Allow me to dwell on the Shona names to highlight that indeed we can have other appropriate names to replace the ungodly names that have been forced down our throats for centuries. I have not bothered to research on the sixth day named Mugovera in our Shona week, but its literal meaning refers to a day of giving out or receiving whatever the necessities of life requires us to do as society. Those who are privy to the true meaning can please also educate me on meaning of the name as allocated for the sixth day. The seventh day of the week is now the colloquialised version derived from the missionary period when people were expected to attend Mass or church service. Svondo is a reference for church, or to congregate to worship the Lord our God. It has no link to the ungodly name Sunday although there appears to be a similarity of tone.
Changing the pagan names of our entrenched calendar week from the clutches of the Roman ungodliness seems as easy task, but the minds of us all have been deep-rootedly colonised to such an extent that we think it is crazy to even just suggest that.
Christianity itself needs to undergo a series of decolonisation processes to let go of some impure and imperfect accessories which are afflicting the purity of our religion. I will no longer dwell much on the names of months of the Roman calendar, as they follow the same pattern as that of the naming of the days of the weeks. For thousands of years, both Christians and people of other religions have refrained altogether from questioning the status quo in regard to this subject of pagan-worship-inspired names. We have all along hidden behind a veil of innocence, an attitude that has defied both time and the due respect for the integrity of the Lord our God. I may have to devote another article in the future just to go over the origins of the names of the month to awaken people’s minds to this sad reality that continues to stain our religiousness. It is indeed a cause for concern for me altogether.
Lastly, let me also touch on the names of some of the days of our Christian holidays as a separate entity of our Roman calendar which differs from those of other religions. We have our revered Easter holidays held annually in honour of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord. The name itself is derived from a goddess of pagan origin by the name Esther. It was a yearly festival celebrated by a clique of an ancient religion not related to our God, the Father of Christ. Regrettably the Easter festive are held at the expense of the Passover day, a day institutionalised by the Lord our God in the scriptures to honour the day He descended on Africa in Egypt to rescue the children of Israel from slavery.
l Prosper Tingini is the president of the Children of God Missionary Assembly. Registration in progress for those who wish to undertake Bible Studies or train as Ministers of Religion. Contact 0771 260 195 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org