The Celestial Family Jubilee
The Among the stars that grace the deep dark are those that are constant. They appear and fade with annual regularity. But there are other bodies celestial that wander. Their paths do not follow the seasons and some years they may not be seen at all. All walk the same road, but rarely together and never at the same pace. They are pilgrims, or rangers or protectors. But even they long for home and for family. When the pull of home becomes acute, we see the two brightest pilgrims approach. Their paths, though separate, bring both nearer to the waiting children. Then for a brief few days they are encircled in the arms of their children. Then is the Jubilee. In every land that can see the Family there are celebrations. The most devout remember it is a time to cherish family and they gather together to rejoice in one another. Apologies are made, forgiveness is requested and freely given, vows are made and renewed. Expressions of love are frequent and sincere. It is not only a time of recommitment, but a time of rejoicing. The Jubilee is a symbol and a reminder that some things are eternal, that there is something better than good, that while the bonds between family members may strain, and even break, hope is still there. Couples fortunate to be wed during the Jubilee consider their lives together to be especially sacred and eternal. Like the Celestial Family in the heavens, circumstances might take them apart but somehow, someway they will be together again.are a well known constellation of four that appears in deep winter, when the nights are cold and clear and the stars shine with extra brilliance. Most years they rise, spend their brief season in view and then descend for another year. In an extraordinary year we see the Celestial Family.
The origins of the celebration go back beyond the records of the people, to the days when there was no written word, just the stories and memories of those who observed and celebrated it. Current practices include much feasting, when it is possible and many gatherings. Earlier times focused on the nuclear family, where most of the celebration revolved around the household of parents and children. Family that had departed mortality were remembered and included as if they were still present.
Although the season is cold, the celebration is not. For those short few days when the family is united, there is feasting, praying, reunion, and renewal.
We're coming child, we're near to you.
It's almost time, it's been so long
And yet the family bond is strong. Oh mother, are you here at last?
Yes, my child, from distance vast.
To be with you, I'll always come
If for a moment, ere we're done. Oh father, your path to us is now short.
Yes, my child, it knows my heart .
Our bonds are strong, the cords are thick
None but ourselves can make them snap. Nor time, nor space, nor trials untold
Can take us from the family fold
Together, or far, in right or in error
Family is family, we solve things together. Exerpted from a longer hymn sung at the Jubilee of the Celestial Family