"The Word became
Flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we have seen His glory: The
glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring
love." (John 1:14)
The actual date of
Christ’s birth is unknown. The Gospels do not record it and there is
not any early tradition to identify it. Scholars identify the
approximate year as sometime between 8 - 5 BC and the season as probably
early spring. The feast day was placed where it was, in all likelihood,
to supplant the practice of the winter solstice festival among pagan
converts by pointing to Christ as the true light who comes into the
world. The Western Church emphasizes the celebration of the Nativity or
Birth of Jesus on December 25, while the Eastern Church celebrates His
manifestation to the Magi on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6.
The word Christmas was
derived from the Old English Cristes Maesse or "Mass of
Christmas." Over the centuries it has become a comprehensive word
including both the religious traditions and the secular traditions.
In North America, the
early immigrants brought their different Christmas traditions. The
Germans brought the Christmas tree, the Irish contributed the lights in
windows of homes, Catholic immigrants brought Midnight Mass and everyone
had their own Christmas carols.
Birth Of Jesus
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds
said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see
this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to
And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the
babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the
saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all
who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary
kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the
shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had
heard and seen, as it had been told them
Lights of Christmas
obvious symbol of Christmas are lights – Christmas candles, window
lights, luminaries, lights on the Advent Wreath and Christmas tree. All
signifying that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.
Christmas candle is an ancient tradition. It is usually placed in the
center of the Advent Wreath to complete the removal of darkness and sin
by the Coming of Christ.
placed inside window sills depict a beacon to light the way for Mary,
Joseph, and the coming of the Christ Child.
trees can be found almost anywhere, any size. For many people, the
Christmas tree is only a seasonal decoration. To Christians it
symbolizes the green of hope at a time of dying, the burning light of
Christ at a time of spiritual darkness and the fruits of paradise. Its
origin as a Christian symbol may trace to an historical event. When St.
Boniface evangelized the Germanic tribes he chopped down their sacred
oak to prove the impotence of their god. Just as Patrick used the
shamrock as a symbol of the Trinity, Boniface used the evergreen as a
symbol of the eternity of the true God. The Church provides a blessing
ceremony in its Book
of Blessings for
use in the absence of a priest.
appearance of holly is representative of the burning bush of Moses and
Mary’s burning love of for God. The red berries and prickly points are
symbolic of the crown of thorns and the bloody death that the Christ
Child would eventually suffer.
are associated with Christmas as the lily is with Easter. In Mexico it
blooms at Christmas time and is called the "Flower of the Holy
Night." Its name is from the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Dr.
[Seasons][Advent][Lent][Holy Week][Easter Season][Ordinary Time]
Posted 7 Oct 2006