An All Hallows’ Eve Vigil to Begin Transgender Awareness Month
H. Adam Ackley is a former professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University. Last month, Soulforce helped get the word out about Dr. Ackley’s dismissal from APU because he had come out as transgender. Here, in a new phase of public ministry, he offers his thoughts and a litany as we begin Transgender Awareness Month.
From The Huffington Post * Posted: 10/30/2013 7:10 pm * By H. Adam Ackley, PhD
Since the early seventh century, Christians have celebrated All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day based on the belief that there is a prayerful spiritual bond between the living struggling now (those “militant”), those suffering in a spiritually purifying way after death, and those already triumphant over death in Heaven. First recognized as an official Christian feast day in the early seventh century, All Saints (or All Hallows) is still celebrated in Eastern Christianity on the first Sunday after Pentecost, but in the West, since the eighth century it has been celebrated at fall harvest time in order to disentangle it from a similar springtime Roman memorial for the wandering spirits of the dead. Formally known as the Solemnity of All Saints (or Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed), it is thus celebrated on Nov. 1 — not as a holiday but rather as a “solemnity” (from the Latin for “whole” and “year,” signifying that it is observed annually), which is the highest-ranking kind of feast day in Western Christian worship. This day also marks the first day of Transgender Awareness Month, with its own equivalent annual vigil, the International Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate those slain in anti-transgender hate crimes. <Read the rest of the article here.>