|Orlando's Baldwin Park First Friday Festival|
is held EVERY First Friday
If my two friends had overheard me ask another Catholic, "Are you going to First Friday?" they would have been astonished to know that meant going to church instead of partying all night because First Friday to the secular world and First Friday to Catholics are two different things. One is the Catholic Church's First Friday Devotions in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the other is indeed a party - First Friday Festivals in almost every city, town and community in America and across Western civilization.
That is also true for First Saturdays since there are the Catholic First Saturday Devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be made in atonement for the sins of the world requested by Our Lady of Fatima. First Saturdays to the secular world is normally an "art walk" down by the pier or at a local museum with wine and cheese, a music festival in the park or First Saturday Shopping in "old town" to boost commerce in failing downtown areas competing for business with strip malls.
Replacing First Friday and First Saturday Devotions of the Catholic Church with secular parties and activities having the same name - FIRST FRIDAY / FIRST SATURDAY - sounds like a Masonic replacement theory to me. And sure enough, right as rain, as I drove to the parish for the All Saints' Day noon Mass, I could see the city's First Friday street party banner over the main road leading into town. When checking the city's First Friday website I noticed that they've even appropriated the phrase, "All are welcome" from Marty Haugen's hymn of the same name.
Of the posters below my "favorite" is the "First Saturdays are for Families" with the green baby snake (last picture) from Ocala, Florida's Appleton Museum of Art. The baby snake (a pit viper?...green for camouflage in trees and underbrush) looks innocent and innocuous, so cute. While flicking its tongue, it looks as if it's saying, The Blessed Mother would never crush me under her foot. I'm too cute. Too cute for my skin. The lovable looking snake replaces a venomous nasty looking serpent as the image of satanic evil. It erases sinful connotations from the psyche making the snake as something endearing to be picked up and embraced rather than resolutely rejected.
If the Catholic Church's First Saturday Devotions are to be made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in atonement for sin, the Appleton Museum's "First Saturdays are for Families" cunning logo indicates forgetting about sin. Love the snake. Pick it up. Pet it. Tell it how adorable it is. However if we do that it will kill us! If we replace atonement for sin with something more appealing, everything will be copacetic, yes? No! We can forget about making atonement and go to the museum instead, right? No! The correct answer is: As Catholics we can fulfill our First Friday and First Saturday obligations, then do other things with our families including museum visits and art walks.
Secular street parties and art walks are meant to be decent community events - just name them something else. And get rid of the snake logo. It's creepy. And don't replace it with a teddy bear either because bears too are dangerous undomesticated animals and kill foolish people trying to get close and take pictures of them in the wild.