The Nineteen Day Feast

 The Nineteen Day Feast

 

Extract from the  compilation  of the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice

Bahá’í World Centre August 1989

Revised November 1990

From The Writings Of Bahá’u’lláh

  • Verily, it is enjoined upon you to offer a feast, once in every month, though only water be served; for God hath purposed to bind hearts together, albeit through both earthly and heavenly means.

(Bahá’u’lláh, “The Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 40)

From The Writings And Utterances Of `Abdu’l-Bahá
  • O thou steadfast in the Covenant!Thou hast written … concerning the Feast. This festivity, which is held on a day of the nineteen- day month, was established by His Holiness the Báb, and the Blessed Beauty directed, confirmed and warmly encouraged the holding of it. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance. You should unquestionably see to it with the greatest care, and make its value known, so that it may become solidly established on a permanent basis. Let the beloved of God gather together and associate most lovingly and spiritually and happily with one another, conducting themselves with the greatest courtesy and self-restraint. Let them read the holy verses, as well as essays which are of benefit, and the letters of `Abdu’l-Bahá; encourage and inspire one another to love each and all; chant the prayers with serenity and joy; give eloquent talks, and praise the matchless Lord. The host, with complete self-effacement, showing kindness to all, must be a comfort to each one, and serve the friends with his own hands. If the Feast is befittingly held, in the manner described, then this supper will verily be the Lord’s Supper, for its fruits will be the very fruits of that Supper, and its influence the same.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet to an individual believer—translated from the Persian)

 

  • As to the Nineteen Day Feast, ye must give this your most careful attention, and firmly establish it. For this Feast bringeth bliss and unity and love to the lovers of God.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet to an individual believer—translated from the Persian)

  • Ye have written of the Nineteen Day festivities. This Feast is a bringer of joy. It is the groundwork of agreement and unity. It is the key to affection and fellowship. It diffuseth the oneness of mankind.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet to an individual believer—translated from the Persian)

 

  • O ye loyal servants of the Ancient Beauty! In every cycle and dispensation, the feast hath been favoured and loved, and the spreading of a table for the lovers of God hath been considered a praiseworthy act. This is especially the case today, in this dispensation beyond compare, this most generous of ages, when it is highly acclaimed, for it is truly accounted among such gatherings as are held to worship and glorify God. Here the holy verses, the heavenly odes and laudations are intoned, and the heart is quickened, and carried from itself.The primary intent is to kindle these stirrings of the spirit, but at the same time it follows quite naturally that those present should partake of food, so that the world of the body may mirror the spirit’s world, and flesh take on the qualities of soul; and just as the spiritual delights are here in profusion, so too the material delights. Happy are ye, to be observing this rule, with all its mystic meanings, thus keeping the friends of God alert and heedful, and bringing them peace of mind, and joy.

(“Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá” [rev. ed.], (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), sec. 48, pp. 90-91)

 

  • Thy letter hath been received. Thou didst write of the Nineteen Day festivity, and this rejoiced my heart. These gatherings cause the divine table to descend from heaven, and draw down the confirmations of the All-Merciful. My hope is that the breathings of the Holy Spirit will be wafted over them, and that each one present shall, in great assemblies, with an eloquent tongue and a heart flooded with the love of God, set himself to acclaiming the rise of the Sun of Truth, the dawn of the Day-Star that lighteth all the world.
(“Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá” [rev. ed.], (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), sec. 49, p. 91)
  • Give ye great weight to the Nineteen Day gatherings, so that on these occasions the beloved ofthe Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful may turn their faces toward the Kingdom, chant the communes, beseech God’s help, become joyfully enamored each of the other, and grow in purity and holiness, and in the fear of God, and in resistance to passion and self. Thus will they separate themselves from this elemental world, and immerse themselves in the arduous of the spirit.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet to the local Spiritual Assembly of Spokane, Washington—translated from the Persian)

  • I beg of God, out of His endless bounties, that many such gatherings will be held, and that the Nineteen Day festivity will also be observed, so that men and women believers will occupy themselves with making mention of God, and praising and glorifying Him, and guiding the people aright.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet to the Bahá’ís of Stuttgart, Germany—translated from the Persian)

  • O thou who art steadfast in the Covenant!Your detailed letter hath been received, but because of the press of work a brief answer must suffice. You have asked as to the Feast in every Bahá’í month. This Feast is held to foster comradeship and love, to call God to mind and supplicate Him with contrite hearts, and to encourage benevolent pursuits. That is, the friends should there dwell upon God and glorify Him, read the prayers and holy verses, and treat one another with the utmost affection and love. Should trouble arise between two of the friends, let both be invited in, and efforts be made to compose their differences. Let all discussion centre on the doing of charitable acts and holy deeds, that laudable results may be the fruit thereof.1

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet to an individual—translated from the Persian)

  • As to the Nineteen Day Feast, it rejoiceth mind and heart. If this feast be held in the properfashion, the friends will, once in nineteen days, find themselves spiritually restored, and enduedwith a power that is not of this world.
(“Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá” [rev. ed.](Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), sec. 51, p. 91)
                                                                                                                 …
To learn more about the Nineteen Day Feast, please download the entire document compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice.

 

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