The Eucharist is a Christian rite, considered a sacrament in most churches, as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross and his commission of the apostles at the Last Supper; the elements of the Eucharist, sacramental bread and sacramental wine, are consecrated on an altar and consumed thereafter. Communicants, those who consume the elements, may speak of "receiving the Eucharist", as well as "celebrating the Eucharist". Christians recognize a special presence of Christ in this rite, though they differ about how and when Christ is present. While all agree that there is no perceptible change in the elements, Roman Catholics believe that their substances become the body and blood of Christ. Lutherans believe the true body and blood of Christ are present "in, under" the forms of the bread and wine. Reformed Christians believe in a real spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Others, such as the Plymouth Brethren and the Christadelphians, take the act to be only a symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper and a memorial. In spite of differences among Christians about various aspects of the Eucharist, there is, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "more of a consensus among Christians about the meaning of the Eucharist than would appear from the confessional debates over the sacramental presence, the effects of the Eucharist, the proper auspices under which it may be celebrated"; the Greek noun εὐχαριστία, meaning "thanksgiving", appears fifteen times in the New Testament but is not used as an official name for the rite. Do this in remembrance of me"; the term "Eucharist" is that by which the rite is referred to by the Didache, Ignatius of Antioch and Justin Martyr. Today, "the Eucharist" is the name still used by Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans. Other Protestant or Evangelical denominations use this term, preferring either "Communion", "the Lord's Supper", "Memorial", "Remembrance", or "the Breaking of Bread".
Latter-day Saints call it "Sacrament". The Lord's Supper, in Greek Κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, was in use in the early 50s of the 1st century, as witnessed by the First Epistle to the Corinthians: When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk; those who use the term "Eucharist" use the expression "the Lord's Supper", but it is the predominant term among Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, who avoid using the term "Communion". They refer to the observance as an "ordinance"; those Protestant churches avoid the term "sacrament".'Holy Communion' are used by some groups originating in the Protestant Reformation to mean the entire Eucharistic rite. Others, such as the Catholic Church, do not use this term for the rite, but instead mean by it the act of partaking of the consecrated elements; the term "Communion" is derived from Latin communio, which translates Greek κοινωνία in 1 Corinthians 10:16: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? The phrase appears in various related forms five times in the New Testament in contexts which, according to some, may refer to the celebration of the Eucharist, in either closer or symbolically more distant reference to the Last Supper, it is the term used by the Plymouth Brethren. The "Blessed Sacrament" and the "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar" are common terms used by Catholics and some Anglicans for the consecrated elements when reserved in a tabernacle. "Sacrament of the Altar" is in common use among Lutherans. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the term "The Sacrament" is used of the rite. Mass is used in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Churches, by many Anglicans, in some other forms of Western Christianity. At least in the Catholic Church, the Mass is a longer rite which always consists of two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in that order; the Liturgy of the Word consists of readings from scripture (the
Crossgar is a village and townland in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is about 15 miles south of Belfast -- between Downpatrick. Crossgar had a population 1,892 people in the 2011 UK Census. Crossgar has had an interesting and varied past, from the settlement of Anglo-Norman invaders, to Scots settlers, to the St. Patrick's Day riots in the 1800s. According to a history of Down and Connor by a Fr. O'Laverty, the parish of Kilmore, in which Crossgar lies, was to have been established around 800 AD and was the ecclesiastical centre of this part of County Down, it was thought that the area had seven chapels and these can be reasonably evident by the remains of burial grounds. But the seventh cannot be traced to a burial ground and is referred to as the "lost chapel of Cill Glaise". O'Laverty says that by tradition this chapel was built by Saint Patrick and left in the care of his disciples Glasicus and Liberius; the name Crossgar comes from the Irish An Chrois Ghearr meaning "the short cross". There is a holy well known as St. Mary’s Well which suggests that in this case crois is to refer to an ecclesiastical cross, no trace of which now remains.
The adjective gearr may suggest or in some way defective. The parish of Kilmore comes from the Irish Cill Mhór meaning "big church" or another possible meaning is An Choill Mhór meaning "the big forest", which suggests that the area was covered by a large forest. Another location of one of the seven chapels is the townland of Killinchy meaning "Duinseach's Church". In June 1920, the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks at Crossgar was attacked by the Irish Republican Army, who were beaten off. Situated in the village is the famous Ulster Wildlife Centre, run by the Ulster Wildlife Trust and, situated in a Victorian walled garden in the grounds of Tobar Mhuire Monastery. Sir David Attenborough opened the Wildlife Centre in 1992 and the Trust is a charity to promote conservation in its natural habitat in Northern Ireland. Situated in the same grounds is a huge Victorian conservatory with vines that were planted as far back as the last century; the Market House has been restored and turned into a children's nursery.
Crossgar is home to Ireland's first Disc Golf course located on the Kilmore Road between Crossgar and Kilmore. Crossgar Free Presbyterian Church is the first congregation of the Free Presbyterian denomination worldwide, it was founded in 1951 when most of the elders and a large part of the congregation of Lissara Presbyterian Church seceded in a dispute between evangelicals and liberals and in which the Presbyterian Church in Ireland banned local people from using their own Church hall for a gospel mission. The evangelist for the mission was Rev. Ian Paisley. Across from the Free Presbyterian Church is an Orange Hall, home to the local Orange Lodge, still active today with a flute band called Crossgar Young Defenders started in 1987. Crossgar is home of a football club called Kilmore Rec, they play at Robert Adams Park Tobar Mhuire Retreat and Conference Centre is run by the resident Passionist community, has 15 guest rooms, several conference rooms, 60 acres of grounds, its Stations of the Cross are, built outdoors.
On its website, Tobar Mhuire states that its mission is to provide diverse visitors with "a place for renewal, hope and healing". The centre is in a former manor house, known as Crossgar House, bought from Colonel Llewellyn Palmer by the Passionists in 1950 to house their Juniorate, a second-level school for boys interested in Passionist religious life and priesthood; the Juniorate up to this period was in North Belfast. The Passionists took up residence in November 1950; the Juniorate flourished for nearly thirty years. Many young people were educated at Tobar Mhuire and in its heyday over fifty young students lived here with a staff of about eight. In the final years, before the juniorate was closed in 1980, the students attended St Patrick's High School in Downpatrick, run by the De La Salle Brothers. In 1976 Tobar Mhuire became a noviciate, a place where people are encouraged to deepen their vocation to religious life; the Passionist vocation, to help others become more aware of the great love God has for them as shown on the cross, motivated developing the old juniorate into a retreat and Prayer Centre in 1982.
The community continues its work through various faith development programmes run both at Tobar Mhuire and elsewhere on request. Crossgar is on the main A7 road, 5 miles north of Downpatrick and 16 miles south of Belfast, on the B7 minor road between Ballynahinch and Killyleagh; the village is served by 215 Downpatrick to Belfast. Crossgar railway station opened on 23 March 1859, but closed on 16 January 1950. Parts of it from Downpatrick to Inch abbey opened as a tourist attraction in late 2009 to celebrate the closing of the line 60 years ago. Crossgar is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency. On Census day there were 1,872 people living in Crossgar. Of these: 22.3% were aged under 16 and 13.74% were aged 65 and over 49.26% of the population were male and 50.74% were female 59.45% were from a Catholic background and 34.95% were from a Protestant background 39.65% indicated that they had a British national identity, 35.46% had a Northern Irish national identity and 30.20% had an Irish national identity.
In 2001 there were 1,539 people living in Crossgar. Of these: 23.8
The Westminster Standards is a collective name for the documents drawn up by the Westminster Assembly. These include the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the Westminster Larger Catechism, the Directory of Public Worship, the Form of Church Government, represent the doctrine and church polity of 17th-century English and Scottish Presbyterianism; the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechism have been adopted as doctrinal standards by a number of Reformed and Presbyterian Christian denominations. Following the approval of the Confession and catechisms by the Church of Scotland in 1648, printers in England and Scotland began publishing them with other religious documents in collections referred to as the Westminster Standards. In 1658 printers began including the full Scripture passages which are cited in the confessional documents; these collections became standardized in a 1728 edition, which follows a 1679 work published by Covenanters exiled in Holland and contains twenty-two documents including parliamentary acts related to the Assembly and devotional works.
These collections were intended to serve as ecclesiastical manuals as well as comprehensive popular religious books. The 1728 form of the Standards continues to be printed by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. In the nineteenth century, several churches separated from the Church of Scotland on the basis of the established church's departure from a list of documents similar to those found in standard collections of the Westminster Standards. Dissenters asserted that the General Assembly had adopted these documents, but the only Westminster documents accepted by the Church of Scotland were the Confession and catechisms. Three Forms of Unity North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council, Constitution & Bylaws of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council, retrieved 2012-11-28 Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Catechisms, retrieved 2012-11-28 Thomson, Derick, "Westminster Standards", in Wright, David.
The Reformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms; the edict condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today. Movements had been made towards a Reformation prior to Luther, so some Protestants in the tradition of the Radical Reformation prefer to credit the start of the Reformation to reformers such as Arnold of Brescia, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného, John Wycliffe, Girolamo Savonarola.
Due to the reform efforts of Huss and others in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Utraquist Hussitism was acknowledged by both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, although other movements were still subject to persecution, as were the including Lollards in England and Waldensians in Italy and France. Luther began by criticising the sale of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Treasury of Merit had no foundation in the Bible; the Reformation developed further to include a distinction between Law and Gospel, a complete reliance on Scripture as the only source of proper doctrine and the belief that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive God's pardon for sin rather than good works. Although this is considered a Protestant belief, a similar formulation was taught by Molinist and Jansenist Catholics; the priesthood of all believers downplayed the need for saints or priests to serve as mediators, mandatory clerical celibacy was ended. Simul justus et peccator implied that although people could improve, no one could become good enough to earn forgiveness from God.
Sacramental theology was simplified and attempts at imposing Aristotelian epistemology were resisted. Luther and his followers did not see these theological developments as changes; the 1530 Augsburg Confession concluded that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic", after the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz published the 1565–73 Examination of the Council of Trent in order to prove that Trent innovated on doctrine while the Lutherans were following in the footsteps of the Church Fathers and Apostles. The initial movement in Germany diversified, other reformers arose independently of Luther such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva. Depending on the country, the Reformation had varying causes and different backgrounds, unfolded differently than in Germany; the spread of Gutenberg's printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular. During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions.
Radical Reformers, besides forming communities outside state sanction, sometimes employed more extreme doctrinal change, such as the rejection of the tenets of the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the Unitarians of Transylvania. Anabaptist movements were persecuted following the German Peasants' War. Leaders within the Roman Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Confutatio Augustana in 1530, the Council of Trent in 1545, the Jesuits in 1540, the Defensio Tridentinæ fidei in 1578, a series of wars and expulsions of Protestants that continued until the 19th century. Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained predominantly Catholic apart from the much-persecuted Waldensians. Central Europe was the site of much of the Thirty Years' War and there were continued expulsions of Protestants in central Europe up to the 19th century. Following World War II, the removal of ethnic Germans to either East Germany or Siberia reduced Protestantism in the Warsaw Pact countries, although some remain today.
Absence of Protestants however, does not imply a failure of the Reformation. Although Protestants were excommunicated and ended up worshipping in communions separate from Catholics contrary to the original intention of the Reformers, they were suppressed and persecuted in most of Europe at one point; as a result, some of them lived as crypto-Protestants called Nicodemites, contrary to the urging of John Calvin who wanted them to live their faith openly. Some crypto-Protestants have been identified as late as the 19th century after immigrating to Latin America; as a result Reformation impulses continued to affect the Latin Church well past the end of what is considered the Reformation era. The oldest Protestant churches, such as the Unitas Fratrum and Moravian Church, date their origins to Jan Hus in the early 15th century; as it was led by a Bohemian noble majority, recognised, for a time, by the Basel Compacts, the Hussite Reformation was Europe's first "Magisterial Reformation" because the ruling magistrates supported it, unlike the "Radical Reformation", which the state did not support.
Common factors that played a role during the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation included the rise of nationalism, the
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland. Ian Paisley founded the DUP in 1971, during the Troubles, led the party for the next 37 years. Now led by Arlene Foster, it is equal with Sinn Féin in having the most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, it is the sixth-largest party in the House of Commons. Following the 2017 general election, the party agreed to support a Conservative minority government on a case-by-case basis on matters of mutual concern; the DUP evolved from the Protestant Unionist Party and has strong links to the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, the church Paisley founded. During the Troubles, the DUP opposed attempts to resolve the conflict that would involve sharing power with Irish nationalists or republicans, rejected attempts to involve the Republic of Ireland in Northern Irish affairs, it campaigned against the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973, the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985, the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. In the 1980s, the party was involved in setting up the paramilitary movements Third Force and Ulster Resistance.
The party has been described as right-wing and conservative, being anti-abortion and opposing same-sex marriage. The DUP sees itself as defending Britishness and Ulster Protestant culture against Irish nationalism; the party is Eurosceptic and during the UK European Union referendum it supported the UK's withdrawal from the EU. For most of the DUP's history, the Ulster Unionist Party was the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland, but by 2004 the DUP had overtaken the UUP in terms of seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Parliament. Following the St Andrews Agreement in 2006, the DUP agreed to enter into power-sharing devolved government in Northern Ireland with Sinn Féin. Despite reports of divisions within the party, a majority of the party executive voted in favour of power-sharing in 2007. However, the DUP's sole Member of the European Parliament, Jim Allister, seven DUP councillors left the party in opposition to its plans to share power with Sinn Féin, founding the Traditional Unionist Voice.
Peter Robinson became DUP leader in 2008. The Democratic Unionist Party evolved from the Protestant Unionist Party, which itself grew out of the Ulster Protestant Action movement; the DUP was founded on 30 September 1971 by Ian Paisley, leader of the Protestant Unionist Party, Desmond Boal of the Ulster Unionist Party. Paisley, a well-known Protestant fundamentalist minister, was the founder and leader of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, he would lead both the DUP and the Free Presbyterian Church for the next 37 years, his party and church would be linked. When the DUP formed, Northern Ireland was in the midst of an ethnic-nationalist conflict known as the Troubles, which began in 1969 and would last for the next thirty years; the conflict began amid a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/Irish nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force. This protest campaign was opposed violently, by unionists who viewed it as an Irish republican front. Paisley had led the unionist opposition to the civil rights movement.
The DUP were more hardline or loyalist than the UUP and its founding arguably stemmed from worries of the Ulster Protestant working class that the UUP was not paying them enough heed. The DUP opposed the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973; the Agreement was an attempt to resolve the conflict by setting up a new assembly and government for Northern Ireland in which unionists and Irish nationalists would share power. The Agreement proposed the creation of a Council of Ireland, which would facilitate co-operation between the governments of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; the DUP won eight seats in the 1973 election to the Assembly. Along with other anti-Agreement unionists, the DUP formed the United Ulster Unionist Council to oppose the Agreement. In the February 1974 UK election, the UUUC won 11 out of 12 Northern Ireland seats, while the pro-Agreement unionists failed to win any. On 15 May 1974, anti-Agreement unionists called a general strike aimed at bringing down the Agreement; the strike coordinating committee included DUP leader Paisley, the other UUUC leaders, the leaders of the loyalist paramilitary groups.
The strike brought Northern Ireland to a standstill. Loyalist paramilitaries helped enforce the strike by blocking roads and intimidating workers. On the third day of the strike, loyalists detonated four car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan, killing 33 civilians; the strike led to the downfall of the Agreement on 28 May. Following the downfall of the Agreement, in 1975 the British government set up a Constitutional Convention, an elected body of unionists and nationalists which would seek agreement on a political settlement for Northern Ireland. In the election to the Convention, the UUUC won 53% of the vote; the UUUC recommended only a return to majority rule. As this was unacceptable to nationalists, the Convention was dissolved; the DUP opposed UK membership of the European Economic Community. In June 1979, in the first election to the European Parliament, Paisley won one of the three Northern Ireland seats, he topped the poll, with 29.8% of the first preference votes. He retained that seat in every European election until 2004, when he was replaced by Jim Allister, who resigned from the DUP in 2007 while retaining his seat.
During 1981, the DUP opposed the then-ongoing talks between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Taoiseach Charles Haughey. That year and other DUP members attempted to create a Protestant loyalist volunteer militia—called the Third Force—which would work alongside t
A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization and doctrine. Individual bodies, may use alternative terms to describe themselves, such as church or sometimes fellowship. Divisions between one group and another are defined by doctrine. Groups of denominations—often sharing broadly similar beliefs and historical ties—are sometimes known as "branches of Christianity"; these branches differ in many ways through differences in practices and belief. Individual denominations vary in the degree to which they recognize one another. Several groups claim to be the direct and sole authentic successor of the church founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD. Others, believe in denominationalism, where some or all Christian groups are legitimate churches of the same religion regardless of their distinguishing labels and practices; because of this concept, some Christian bodies reject the term "denomination" to describe themselves, to avoid implying equivalency with other churches or denominations.
The Catholic Church which claims 1.2 billion members – over half of all Christians worldwide – does not view itself as a denomination, but as the original pre-denominational church, a view rejected by other Christians. Protestant denominations account for 37 percent of Christians worldwide. Together and Protestantism comprise Western Christianity. Western Christian denominations prevail in Western, Northern and Southern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas and Oceania; the Eastern Orthodox Church, with an estimated 225–300 million adherents, is the second-largest Christian organization in the world and considers itself the original pre-denominational church. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church is itself a communion of independent autocephalous churches that mutually recognize each other to the exclusion of others; the Eastern Orthodox Church, together with Oriental Orthodoxy and the Assyrian Church of the East, constitutes Eastern Christianity. Eastern Christian denominations are represented in Eastern Europe, North Asia, the Middle East, Northeast Africa and South India.
Christians have various doctrines about the Church and about how the divine church corresponds to Christian denominations. Both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox hold that their own organizations faithfully represent the One Holy catholic and Apostolic Church to the exclusion of the other. Sixteenth-century Protestants separated from the Catholic Church because of theologies and practices that they considered to be in violation of their own interpretation. Members of the various denominations acknowledge each other as Christians, at least to the extent that they have mutually recognized baptisms and acknowledge orthodox views including the Divinity of Jesus and doctrines of sin and salvation though doctrinal and ecclesiological obstacles hinder full communion between churches. Since the reforms surrounding the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965, the Catholic Church has referred to Protestant communities as "denominations", while reserving the term "church" for apostolic churches, including the Eastern Orthodox.
But some non-denominational Christians do not follow any particular branch, though sometimes regarded as Protestants. Each group uses different terminology to discuss their beliefs; this section will discuss the definitions of several terms used throughout the article, before discussing the beliefs themselves in detail in following sections. A denomination within Christianity can be defined as a "recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church". "Church" as a synonym, refers to a "particular Christian organization with its own clergy and distinctive doctrines". Some traditional and evangelical Protestants draw a distinction between membership in the universal church and fellowship within the local church. Becoming a believer in Christ makes one a member of the universal church; some evangelical groups describe themselves as interdenominational fellowships, partnering with local churches to strengthen evangelical efforts targeting a particular group with specialized needs, such as students or ethnic groups.
A related concept is denominationalism, the belief that some or all Christian groups are legitimate churches of the same religion regardless of their distinguishing labels and practices.. Protestant leaders differ from the views of the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, the two largest Christian denominations; each church makes mutually exclusive claims for itself to be t
Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church; the day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations involve public parades and festivals, céilís, the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday's tradition of alcohol consumption. Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat.
It is widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world in the United Kingdom, United States, Argentina and New Zealand. Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Modern celebrations have been influenced by those of the Irish diaspora those that developed in North America. However, there has been criticism of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations for having become too commercialised and for fostering negative stereotypes of the Irish people. Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian bishop in Ireland. Much of what is known about Saint Patrick comes from the Declaration, written by Patrick himself, it is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. According to the Declaration, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland, it says that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he "found God".
The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest. According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity; the Declaration says that he spent many years evangelising in the northern half of Ireland and converted "thousands". Patrick's efforts against the druids were turned into an allegory in which he drove "snakes" out of Ireland, despite the fact that snakes were not known to inhabit the region. Tradition holds that he was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland's foremost saint. Today's St Patrick's Day celebrations have been influenced by those that developed among the Irish diaspora in North America; until the late 20th century, St Patrick's Day was a bigger celebration among the diaspora than it was in Ireland. Celebrations involve public parades and festivals, Irish traditional music sessions, the wearing of green attire or shamrocks.
There are formal gatherings such as banquets and dances, although these were more common in the past. St Patrick's Day parades began in North America in the 18th century but did not spread to Ireland until the 20th century; the participants include marching bands, the military, fire brigades, cultural organisations, charitable organisations, voluntary associations, youth groups, so on. However, over time, many of the parades have become more akin to a carnival. More effort is made to use the Irish language in Ireland, where the week of St Patrick's Day is "Irish language week". Since 2010, famous landmarks have been lit up in green on St Patrick's Day as part of Tourism Ireland's "Global Greening Initiative" or "Going Green for St Patrick´s Day"; the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland were the first landmarks to participate and since over 300 landmarks in fifty countries across the globe have gone green for St Patricks day. Christians may attend church services, the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day.
Because of this, drinking alcohol – Irish whiskey, beer, or cider – has become an integral part of the celebrations. The St Patrick's Day custom of "drowning the shamrock" or "wetting the shamrock" was popular in Ireland. At the end of the celebrations, a shamrock is put into the bottom of a cup, filled with whiskey, beer, or cider, it is drunk as a toast to St Patrick, Ireland, or those present. The shamrock would either be swallowed with the drink or taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck. Irish Government Ministers travel abroad on official visits to various countries around the globe to celebrate St Patrick's Day and promote Ireland; the most prominent of these is the visit of the Irish Taoiseach with the U. S. President which happens on or around St Patrick's Day. Traditionally the Taoiseach presents the U. S. President a Waterford Crystal bowl filled with shamrocks; this tradition began when in 1952, Irish Ambassador to the U. S. John Hearne sent a box of shamrocks to President Harry S. Truman.
From on it became an annual tradition of the Irish ambassador to the U. S. to present the St Patrick's Day shamrock to an official in the U. S