For This Is the Day We Are Given

Sunday, October 11, 2015

For This Is the Day We Are Given

Rev. Julia Hamilton

At a certain point when we are very young, we learn the days of the week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Monday, the first day, the first day of the work week, the first day of the school week, the dreaded Monday. And then it’s an uphill run toward the weekend, sometimes. The week – end: the rest and refuge of our seven-day cycle, until it starts over again.

It’s so ingrained, this Monday start date, that I remember being confused as a child when I first noticed how most monthly calendars are organized. Most monthly calendars don’t put Monday at the start of the week, but have instead Sunday, right there as the first day. It disoriented me, this starting with Sunday. Why split up the weekend like that? Why go against everything that I had been taught about the rhythm of modern, western, urban life?

Of course if you use an online calendar, you can configure it to start on any day of the week you choose. If your week, like mine, starts on Tuesday, I can select “Tuesday” to appear in the first column on my desktop.

But when it was all on paper, on a typical monthly calendar like the ones that hung on the wall by the phone when I was growing up, the calendar filled with penciled-in family appointments, that calendar always started with Sunday.

We can thank the ancient Egyptians for this pattern. The first day of their week was in honor of the sun God, and they passed this tradition on to the Romans…

Click here to read Rev. Hamilton’s full sermon.