Skip to comments.Keep the Mass in Christmas: Christians Undermined, Secularized Christmas [Ecumenical]
Posted on 12/17/2008 10:38:43 AM PST by NYer
I was going to post on the prevalence of "Keep Christ in Christmas" bumper stickers and signs at this time of year and suggest that the reason Christ is being taken out of Christmas is that Mass has already been taken out of Christmas.
However, Mark Shea links to this article by an atheist that makes my argument before I could get a chance. He makes the very good point that the whole Advent and Christmas season (lasting right up to Candlemass on February 2) was a long sacred holiday that celebrated the Incarnation of Our Lord, and it was the Protestants who yanked all the sacred festivals and observations. The ironic thing is, they often pulled them with the argument that the festivals were 'pagan'.
Eventually what was left was only the pagan bits: mistletoe, Christmas trees, holly etc. and what they added over the years: gross materialism, tacky non religious carols, the sentimental worship of snow and reindeer and snowmen and fireplaces and poinsettas was a new kind of shallow paganism.
Candlemas & Groundhog's Day:
Candlemas is the Mass Christians used to celebrate "the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple" and the "Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary." Celebrated 40 days after Christmas, Candlemas is the true end of the Christmas holiday season for traditional Christianity. By the late 19th century, however, this ancient feast in honor of Mary had been transformed by American Protestants into Groundhog's Day. There's nothing religious about the date in American culture at all anymore.
Very interesting history at the link posted above.
It is in remembrance of the “Christ Mass”.
Are we sure Groundhog Day was made to abolish Catholic Holidays? This is what Wiki says about the history.
The groundhog (Marmota monax) is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels.
Perhaps the earliest known American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Historical Society of Berks County in Reading, Pennsylvania. The reference was made February 4, 1841 in Morgantown, Berks County, Pennsylvania storekeeper James Morris’ diary: “Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.” (Legend has it that the groundhog is a timid creature, and the sight of his own shadow will scare him.)”
They are talking about Candlemas here. I would like to see Mark Shea’s reference on this.
Is this really an occasion to "celebrate"? My grupo musical is playing for a private Baptism on the 28th, but we don't plan to include any numbers about the massacre of the Holy Innocents.
See related thread:
ACLU Judges Nativity Scene as "Non-Biblical," Drops Lawsuit
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of th e onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preferences.
To My Conservative Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Here are a few quotes from men God used to rid us of the tyranny that is Rome:
“God not only rejects all invented manners of worship but strongly abominates them. It must be said, in fact, that as soon as men seek to worship God by their own judgment, whatever they produce is foul profanation.” (John Calvin)
“With respect to ceremonies and above all the observance of holy days: although there are some who eagerly long to remain in conformity with such practices, I do not know how they can do so without disregard for the edification of the church, nor how they can render an account to God for having advanced evil and impeded its solution.” (John Calvin)
“Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may be fairly presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ.” (Alexander Hislop)
“If it had been the will of God that several acts of Christ should have been celebrated with several solemnities, the Holy Ghost would have made known to us the day of his nativity, circumcision, presentation at the temple, baptism, transfiguration, and the like.” (David Calderwood)
“The keeping of some festival days is set up instead of the thankful commemoration of Gods inestimable benefits: howbeit the festivity of Christmas has hitherto served more to Bacchanalian lasciviousness than to the remembrance of the birth of Christ.” (George Gillespie)
“If Paul condemns the Galatians for observing the feasts which God himself instituted [But were now abrogated], and that for his own honour only, and not for the honour of any creature: the Papists are much more laid open to condemnation, which press observations of feasts of mens devising ” (Thomas Cartwright)
“THERE is no day commanded in scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord’s day, which is the Christian Sabbath. Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.” (Westminster Directory for The Publick Worship of God)
It was still considered a holy feast when I was a child. We didn't "celebrate" it in any other sense than to recall the event and offer prayers for the "innocents" of today.
I guess the Sunday observance of Holy Family overtook the date this year. I usually see Holy Innocents on the calendar.
In other words, indeed, “it was the Protestants who yanked all the sacred festivals and observations”. Some tyrant slayers.
Nothing sacred about them. They were human inventions. The protestants were right. Yet many modern PINOs (protestants in name only) go out of their way to mimick Rome.
You certainly got your way, as no one would suspect anything sacred about Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Raindeer, the Coca-Cola Santa and the shopping hordes at Walmart.
Well, that personally not my gig, but is God Almighty less offended by Frosty than by the invented traditions of Rome? Are so-called holy days of obligation more pleasing to Him than Rudolph?
I like one of Calvins quotes the best:
I know how difficult it is to persuade the world that God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by his word. The opposite persuasion which cleaves to them, being seated, as it were, in their very bones and marrow, is, that whatever they do has in itself a sufficient sanction, provided it exhibits some kind of zeal for the honor of God. But since God not only regards as fruitless, but also plainly abominates, whatever we undertake from zeal to his worship, if at variance with his command, what do we gain by a contrary course? The words of God are clear and distinct, "Obedience is better than sacrifice." "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," (1 Sam. 15:22; Matt. 15:9). Every addition to his word, especially in this matter, is a lie. Mere "will worship" (ethelothreeskeia) is vanity. This is the decision, and when once the judge has decided, it is no longer time to debate. (The Necessity of Reforming the Church)
Calvin should have worried about traditions of men when he propagated his counterscriptural fantasies, not when Christian people celebrate the Nativity of our Lord.
Incidentally, I realized it is an ecumenical thread, so my apologies if that is too confrontational.
Surely we can agree that if a community of faith wishes to celebrate something, or abstain from celebrating it, it has that right under any reasonable system of justice.
I certainly don't agree. All kinds of whacky practices have been done in the name of liberty in worship. See my comments from Calvin, et al.
Hm. Well, your “liberation from tyranny of Rome” certainly worked. Enjoy.
Thanks. It has been a blessing, conformity to the His Commands vs. conformity to men.
Some history I’ve read on the Puritans noted that they wouldn’t celebrate Christmas. One of them (maybe Bradford) wrote something to the effect that it’s an evil papist invention — the “mass” part was mentioned. Just a comment, FWIW...
So, is there a retraction or clarification of your #19?
That would depend on what you thought I said.
if a community of faith wishes to celebrate something, or abstain from celebrating it, it has that right under any reasonable system of justice.
I disagreed because of the vagueness and generality of terms, e.g., "any reasonable system of justice." Who is to define what is reasonable? Is animal sacrifice reasonable in worship? The use of cannabis?
My point being that what appears to be liberty might really be unsanctioned license. In any event, Im not sure how that comment warranted a cross reference.
In context, celebrations that are the right of people wishing to celebrate are traditional public celebrations of established religions such as the Catholic (and many other Christian denominations’) celebrations of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Pentacost, Nativity of the Mother of God, Nativity of St John the Baptist, Sunday Mass, saint days, etc.
At the same time, those who find fault with the celebration are free to speak against it and abstain from participating in it.
Reasonable system of justice is such that recognizes individual rights, for example, the American consitutional system.
Thank you very much, but it still does not remove the concerns I have with #19.
"Get used to disappointment."
Then you need to get used to being viewed as on the side of those who are persecuting Christians.
Now we are really getting dramatic.
One who wishes to deny “the right of people wishing to celebrate are traditional public celebrations of established religions such as the Catholic (and many other Christian denominations) celebrations of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Pentacost, Nativity of the Mother of God, Nativity of St John the Baptist, Sunday Mass, saint days, etc.” is wishing to persecute Christians.
thanks for the post.