The 2012 schedule, when it was first revealed two months ago, listed Opening Day on Friday, April 6, 2011. The Reds were to open at home on the first day of the season. The problem is, April 6th is Good Friday on the Christian Calendar. For Christians, this is a day to celebrate the sacrifice made by God to redeem his people. For merchants in the Findlay Market, this is a day to support local churches and embrace Holy Week. Fox19 reported that Bob Castellini, Reds President and CEO said, “We want to thank Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and the Reds and Marlins players for agreeing to move Opening Day to Thursday, April 5. Opening Day is a long-standing tradition for this team, our fans and the City of Cincinnati and we are pleased that the parade and game will now be on Thursday.’ Specific plans for the Findlay Market Parade have not yet been announced but preparations are now underway for the 93rd Opening Day Celebration.
I am pleased to see that the Players Association and Major League Baseball used good judgement to make an adjustment to the schedule. Moving to Thursday solves the problem Findlay Market merchants faced with a Friday kickoff. It also avoids conflict with the Jewish Passover Observance beginning at sundown on the evening of April 6th. It does not satisfactorily answer the Christian element to the situation. At least not for me.
Thursday of Holy Week is known as Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, or Great Thursday depending on the Christian tradition. It is a solemn day recalling the Last Supper prior to the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. More information is available at christianity.about.com
Most Americans no longer pause in their busy schedules to contemplate their spiritual life. I do. I would have less problems if opening day were a week earlier and these Holy days fell on just another game, but to start the season with them presents an unfortunate conundrum for me. If faced with a choice between a Communion Service and Opening Day, I will go to the service, temptation to watch baseball aside. I love the start of Baseball, I just wish the scheduled start did not occur during this, most Holy week.
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