9286. Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year. That this signifies the persistent worship of the Lord and thanksgiving on account of liberation from damnation is evident from the signification of "keeping a feast" as being the worship of the Lord from a glad mind on account of liberation from damnation (see n. 7093); and from the signification of "three times in the year" as being a full state even to the end; for "three" signifies what is full from beginning to end (n. 2788, 4495, 7715, 9198), and a "year" signifies an entire period (n. 2906, 7839, 8070), here therefore a full and complete liberation. For by "the feast of unleavened things" is signified purification from falsities; by "the feast of harvest" the implanting of truth in good; and by "the feast of ingathering" the implanting of good thence derived, thus full liberation from damnation; for when a man has been purified from falsities, and afterward brought into good by means of truths, and finally when he is in good, he is then in heaven with the Lord, and consequently is then fully liberated.
 The successive steps of liberation from damnation are circumstanced like the successive steps of regeneration, because regeneration is liberation from hell and introduction into heaven by the Lord; for the man who is being regenerated is first purified from falsities, then the truths of faith are implanted with him in the good of charity, and lastly this good itself is implanted, and when this is done the man has been regenerated, and is then in heaven with the Lord. Wherefore by "the three feasts in the year" was also signified the worship of the Lord and thanksgiving on account of regeneration. As these feasts were instituted for the perpetual remembrance of these things, therefore it is said the "persistent" worship and thanksgiving, for the chief things of worship are to continually endure. The things which continually endure are those which are not only inscribed on the memory, but also on the life itself, and they are then said to reign universally with the man (n. 5949, 6159, 6571, 8853-8858, 8865).