Friday, December 02, 2005

Just what does "Christmas" mean after all?

Christians often lament about Christ being taken out of Christmas in our ever more commercialized consumerist culture, but I think Catholics equally have every right to express sorrow and concern (especially to our Protestant brothers and sisters) over the fact that so many have taken the Mass out of Christmas. Christmas is "Christ's Mass" after all.

Steve Kellmeyer has an interesting short article on the history of holy days being downplayed to eventually become holidays: "How the Christians Stole Christmas".

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us," not just 2,000 years ago, but every time the bread and wine are consecrated at a Mass. Whether you believe such an incredible idea or not, it is the truth taught to us by the Christian faith whose tradition has also given us the word "Christmas."

[Note: Kellmeyer doesn't go into many details, but he does give a good general overview. However, I'm honestly not sure about the points he raises concerning the church-state separation issue.]


At 12/03/2005 12:36:00 AM, Blogger Meggers said...

I hereby propose that we change the name of Christmas into Giftmas. It is the time of year when the masses put themselves thousands of dollars further into debt to buy gifts for their friends and family that they do not really need.

I find it ironic that those Christians that protest the loss of the true meaning of Christmas still indulge in the excessive gift exchange. I'm sorry, but how does getting a new 42" plasma TV have anything to do with celebrating the birth of Christ?

At 12/03/2005 04:30:00 AM, Blogger Brad said...

incidentally I think this will be the first year I have ever missed a Christmas Eve church service (as I will be on the bullet train from Edinburgh to London that night), but I am disappointed to be missing that. It won't feel like Christmas morning without that service the night before.

At 12/03/2005 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Honestly, I'd rather drink Egg Nog than blood on Christmas, but I guess that's just me.

At 12/03/2005 01:52:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I don't know Steve. Egg nog vs. physical/spiritual communion with the God of the universe? If the latter is true and you believe in it by faith, then egg nog can't even compare. ;-)

[Besides, I just tried egg nog for the first time last night, and I don't get what the big deal is about it. It wasn't bad, but it definitely isn't a drink that gets me excited or anything, although my egg nog didn't have alcohol in it either. Perhaps that was my problem.]

At 12/20/2005 05:36:00 PM, Anonymous Monna said...

..That's really interesting. My Mom has been complaining about people saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," but I mentioned to her that the word "Holiday" comes from the two words "Holy Day," so the religious aspect has still not been removed from the season. Of course, the "Holy Day" aspect implies a Catholic spirituality, since most Protestants would hesitate to call any day a "Holy Day."

I had also thought about the "Christ's Mass" aspect of the word "Christmas," and about how, though Protestants consider Christmas an important holiday, and are - as they should be - very concerned about the "Christ" being removed from it; they have, in fact, taken the "Mass" out of what is the second-most important holiday for Christians...Though it's not something that we Catholics think about automatically either...


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