Article 65 — Ecclesiastical feast days
On Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day, and at Pentecost the consistory shall call the congregation together for church services. The sacred events which the congregation commemorates in particular on these days shall therein be proclaimed.
Just as the Scottish reformer John Knox abolished the ecclesiastical festive days’, the Dutch Reformed Church originally did likewise – as a reaction against the Roman-catholic practice which created all sorts of ‘holy days’.
However, the civil authorities of The Netherlands (who had a strong influence on church life), from where our Church Order originates, insisted that they should be kept.
So far the historical background of the regulation contained in this article.
The inclusion of this article does not mean that our churches must strictly adhere to an ‘ecclesiastical year’ with an ‘Advent’ of four weeks and ‘Lent’ with its seven ‘Passion Sundays’, etcetera.
Synod Armadale, 1956 (Acts Article 20) decided to advise the churches to arrange an annual service of prayer and thanksgiving for harvest and labour on the third Sunday of the month of February.