Sacred / Holy simply means set aside. Not for common use. Simple.

Sacred / Holy is an interesting concept. I think for some, it carries no meaning in itself, but is rather like passphrases that opens the door to a room where a lot of very loosely associated concepts come streaming out but they carry no meaning for some people in and of themselves.

Growing up Methodist, Holy and Sacred had no meaning to me. As a teenager and daily custodian from 13-18 there, I would wander around the place, reading books in the women’s library, or feed the fish in the daily nursery school without being asked (probably killing a few in the process), and wandering around the sanctuary or whatever it was called.

I remember thinking, “This place needs more candles”.

Anyway, I didn’t fully “get” Sacred/Holy conceptually until my stay in the Eastern Orthodox Church for a few years in my 20s. THEN I learned that Sacred simply meant, “Set aside / Special”. So, a sacred thing simply meant:

“This is not for daily use”.

And that’s pretty much it. Stuff that’s special. A sacred chalice? It’s a cup you keep polished and only bring out on special occasions. A sacred Icon? It means “This is an image that is meaningful”.

So, no hocus-pocus required. It was eye-opening really because it was logical and made sense.

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