Jeff Briere

Rev. Jeff Briere, Community Voices

Why do people make New Year’s resolutions? Why not May Day resolutions? You could have a “Resolution Picnic.” Or Autumn Resolutions? What’s the big deal with resolutions made at the beginning of the year? Winter is cold enough without resolutions, especially this year.

When I investigate a subject I’d like to understand better, I begin with the origin of the word and that’s how I learned about Janus. Researching “New Year’s resolution” led me to January, which is named after the mid-level Roman deity, Janus. Janus has two faces, one to survey the past and one to look into the future. Janus was invoked at beginnings and endings, openings and closings and other transitions. That’s why you often find carvings of a human man with two faces on gateposts, entryways and doors.

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The Rev. Jeff Briere is minister of Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

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