In this short article, Fr. Forbes writes of the importance that remembering (in the deepest sense) plays in the role of the three great monotheistic faiths. To understand the viewpoint of each religion, one must grasp that element: For Jews, the memory of the Exodus; for Christians, the Crucifixion and Resurrection; for Muslims the Hajj.
Fr. Michael Forbes
The function of remembering is not only the stuff of ballads. It belongs also to the business of citizenship. We remember events, ideas and persons and internalize these to form the acts of a good citizen. .
For the families of Abraham, this is terribly important. At the time of the vernal full moon, two members of Abraham’s family (Jew and Christian) exercise a very special form of memory as they celebrate salvation events. This form of memory is designated by the Greek word anamnesis, a special kind of memory. The word literally means not forgetting. .
In the special kind of memory that is characteristic of this season, we contemplate the events that mean salvation for our people. We do not simply remember these events the way we remember a news story. We remember them so vividly that we enter, through anamnesis into the pivotal narrative. We become slaves in Egypt and know deliverance at the hand of God. In the celebration of Holy Eucharist we remember the great acts of Jesus in such a way that we can enter into them and experience the full saving force of those works within ourselves. When confronted with the question: Were you there when they crucified my Lord? We can affirm that we were and it made all the difference. For the third branch of the sons of Abraham, the process is carried out in a very different manner. In Islam the salvation event, in history, is the exile and triumphant return of the Prophet played out between Mecca and Medina. The story is dramatic and of such importance that every Moslem is enjoined to become a pilgrim to the Holy Cities and perform the Hajj, a set of ritual enactments which, in part, are pre- Islamic, but mostly commemorate the acts of the Prophet and provide the pilgrim believers the opportunity of entering into the salvation acts of the Islamic community. .
This kind of remembering changes individuals. We identify with our Holy History and with the acts that made us holy. Through anamnesis, we take on the identity of our household and we share the struggles and victories in community with every generation, gone before and coming afterward. We are made a part of a people and that people is raised up by God and made special and promised all the Good things that belong to sharing holy memory..
The Rev. Chev. Michael P. Forbes GCTJ, OHS
Jeffrey Peter Agnes
LTC Thomas P. Curtis II
Rev. Michael P. Forbes
David D. Fautua
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