December 2000, Volume 6, Issue 5   
Rev. Mark Connolly
Thought for the Month
Born in Bethlehem
Santas Bonus
Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci
Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause
Francis P. Church
Our Lady's Juggler
Rev. Mark Connolly
Saint of the Month
A Carol for Children
One Solitary Life
Catholic Corner
New Years Prayer
Catholic Corner

Worship, The Heart of the Holiday

In its basic character, Christmas remains deeply religious in spite of the secular festivities that have grown up around it. Christians never forget that the day commemorates the miraculous birth of a baby in whom God was incarnate. The Gospel according to St. Luke strongly suggests that Jesus was born at night. And so there arose in the Western Church, as early as 400 A.D., the custom of holding midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Earlier still, Epiphany, January 6, had been celebrated in the Easter Orthodox Church.

“Epiphany”, a Greek word meaning “showing forth”, refers to the three manifestations of Christ’s divinity which traditionally occurred on that date: the Adoration of the Magi, His baptism by St. John, and His first miracle, the changing of water into wine at the marriage feast at Cana. To this day Epiphany remains more important to the Orthodox Churches than to others, and they celebrate it with a number of ceremonies involving water. The third great division of Christianity, the Protestant sects, also celebrates Christ’s birthday with widely divergent customs and reverent services.

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