The ass on which Balaam rode in the Reims mystery won for the feast the title Festum Asinorum ( Ducange, op. cit., pp. But even should a deliberate and legitimate "baptism" of a pagan feast be seen here no more than the transference of the date need be supposed. (22 February) is also mentioned St. Peter's Chair. With so much pressure and preparation behind making a perfect Christmas, at times we need to remind ourselves of the real meaning of Christmas. The famous "Stabat Mater Speciosa" is attributed to Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306); "Adeste Fideles" is, at the earliest, of the seventeenth century. In the West, he says, the feast was thus kept, anothen ; its introduction into Antioch he had always sought, conservatives always resisted. Unfortunately, there is no contemporary evidence for the celebration in the fourth century of Christ's conception on 25 March. On "VIII kal. natus Christus in Betleem Iudeæ". (See Kellner, Heortologie, Freiburg, 1906, p. 97, n. 3). et inf. (Cf. Usener, arguing from the "Laudatio S. Stephani" of Basil of Seleucia (c. 430. delle Fest. ian. . While this event is so special and miraculous, let us take this opportunity to think about the relationship between Jesus and God. The reckoning, moreover, is wholly in keeping with the arguments based on number and astronomy and "convenience", then so popular. Basil (who died before 1 January, 379) and the two following, preached on St. Stephen's feast (P.G., XLVI, 788; cf, 701, 721), prove that in 380 the 25th December was already celebrated there, unless, following Usener's too ingenious arguments (Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen, Bonn, 1889, 247-250), one were to place those sermons in 383. The calend fires were a scandal even to Rome, and St. Boniface obtained from Pope Zachary their abolition. On his exile in 381, the feast disappeared. cit., p. 109) to sequence of thought, and do not fix the sermon to 6 January, a feast unknown in Rome till much later. September. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season. But are not the two entries in the "Depositio Martyrum" also such? Popular merry-making, however, so increased that the "Laws of King Cnut", fabricated c. 1110, order a fast from Christmas to Epiphany. Let us view Christmas as God becoming man without diminishing His divine nature. In Cyprus, at the end of the fourth century, Epiphanius asserts against the Alogi (Hær., li, 16, 24 in P. G., XLI, 919, 931) that Christ was born on 6 January and baptized on 8 November. Jud., 8)], the popular instinct, demanding an exact number of years in a Divine life, would place His conception on the same date, His birth 25 December. Fires and blazing wheels starred the hills, houses were adorned, trials suspended and feasts celebrated (cf. Cyril declares that his clergy cannot, on the single feast of Birth and Baptism, make a double procession to Bethlehem and Jordan. Codex Bezæ ) wrongly give the Divine words as sou ei ho houios mou ho agapetos, ego semeron gegenneka se (Thou art my beloved Son, this day have I begotten thee) in lieu of en soi eudokesa (in thee I am well pleased), read in Luke 3:22 . . At this third Mass Leo III inaugurated, in 800, by the coronation of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Empire. While Christmas is so familiar that we sometimes wonder whether anything fresh and true can be said about it, there is a way to explore its meaning that may seem new to us today, yet is in fact quite traditional, dating back to the Middle Ages and the ancient Fathers of the Church. The civil calendar alone was not added to, as it was useless after the abandonment of pagan festivals. But Rome was not thus considerate. The significant entry is "Chr. Et Æquin." Catt., 21 September, 1895, etc. At Rome the earliest evidence is in the Philocalian Calendar (P. L., XIII, 675; it can be seen as a whole in J. Strzygowski, Kalenderbilder des Chron. Vel quod dicant Solis esse natalem, ipse est Sol iustitiæ." Besides, it became connected with other usages; in England, a tenant had the right to feed at his lord's expense as long as a wheel, i.e. There is a good chance you’ve seen them on bumper stickers or heard it spoken at mass. In Cappadocia, Gregory of Nyssa's sermons on St. . Christmas. It is unconnected with any word meaning “wheel”. are rather borrowed from Christian sources than vice versa. The present writer in inclined to think that, be the origin of the feast in East or West, and though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited. . Christmas trees, like most Christmas traditions other than Church services, were adopted late in America. . Arguments based on Zachary's temple ministry are unreliable, though the calculations of antiquity (see above) have been revived in yet more complicated form, e.g. Let us also view Christmas as a celebration of God’s love for each and every person in the whole world. The Gloria was at first sung only in the first Mass of this day. nasceretur Christus." Ian. — "But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December . The census would have been impossible in winter: a whole population could not then be put in motion. (This later practice is here an anachronism.) Explaining the Holy Trinity. cit., addit. Conc. While my teens certainly understand much more about Christmas since they attended Catholic school, my younger ones still need to be taught to put prayer and selflessness first. Family are still there is God ’ s love for each and every person the. 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