December 19, 2003


Category: Church Year :: Permalink

For any of you who get troubled by hearing Reformed voices claiming that we shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas, Jeff Meyers‘ new article “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? A Defense of Christmas” may be just what you need. Jeff deals helpfully with the claims that the early Reformers didn’t celebrate Christmas, that Christmas is really a Roman Catholic holy day, that Christmas is really a pagan festival with a Christian veneer, and that Christmas celebration is somehow a violation of the “regulative principle of worship.”

If you’re interested in more on this topic, check out Mark Horne‘s “Celebrating a Calvinist Christmas with a Clear Conscience.” Jeff Meyers‘ “Is the Church Year Biblical?” is also an entertaining and helpful read.

I’ve often heard it said that the reason Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25 is that the Romans had a feast to the Sun on that date and the Church just took over the date and made it the feast of Christ’s birth. Newer liturgical scholarship, however, contests this story. It appears that Christians were linking Christ’s birth to December 25 before the Feast of the Sun was set on that date! Thomas Talley provides a full discussion in his The Origins of the Liturgical Year (which is sitting on my shelf, still unread) and William Tighe summarizes that discussion in his article “Calculating Christmas.”

Posted by John Barach @ 2:38 pm | Discuss (0)

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