On the matter of the calendar reform America has for many years past been exerting a steadily increasing influence. During the past twenty years the steady flow of immigrants from Russia and other countries belonging to the Orthodox Catholic Church of the East, (Greco-Russian,) has increased to a great volume, and it seems destined to attain still greater proportions when the war is over. These people are obliged to work and keep holiday by the Gregorian calendar and to worship by the Julian. This entails hardships.
For example, a devout Russian who has been forced to remain idle on our Christmas and New Year’s Days must sacrifice his pay—sometimes risk or lose his job—if he wishes to observe the feasts of his own church. A reform of the calendar would be hailed with joy by innumerable such immigrants, who have been over here long enough to consider calmly the practical aspects of a temporary dislocation of saints’ days. The ecclesiastical authorities in this country have frequently protested, in print, both here and in Russia, and I have been informed that the Holy Synod has been appealed to, more than once, to induce it to cast its influence into the balance with that of the scientists and the governmental authorities, who have been discussing the matter for years past, and hesitating over the probable consequences of action—a case of peasant joining hands with the rulers of Russia, once more like Mr. Tchelisheff and the Emperor Nicholas—or the people of the United States and the President—to secure a needed reform!
And these same peasant-immigrants in America have, without the shadow of a doubt, already written back to their relatives and friends in the old country—and very frequently—about the difficulties of the antiquated Julian calendar, and these, in turn, can disseminate common sense about the change in a way which the Government, aided by the Holy Synod and the explanations of home-staying parish priests, unaided, could never effect. When the fitting time arrives, perhaps the Russian Government will avail itself of just this argument, among others—the welfare of friends in distant America. There has never been a propitious time in Russia to make that calendar reform since the reign of Peter the Great until now. And America may fairly be said to have brought from its dark hiding place the mustard seed which has been trying so long to germinate, and imparted to it a vivifying impulse.
THE MOTHER’S SONG.
By CECILIA REYNOLDS ROBERTSON.
Hush, oh, my baby, your father’s
He’s off to the war, and we’ve nothing to eat.
And the glory is neither for you nor for me,
With the cockleburr crushing the wheat.
Little boy baby, look well
on your mother;
Some day you may ask why she bore you at all;
For the trenches are foul with the blood and the wallow,
And the bayonet is sharp for your fall.