Sunday, November 28, 2010

putting the mass back in christmas

A little etymology and history lesson.

Christmas was coined around the 15th century. It's an English term meaning Christ + Mass. Keep in mind that the Reformation came about in the 16th century. So everybody was essentially Catholic at the time. The word itself was not put together until the 18th century, but was referred to as Christ Mass.

Similarly, there are other Masses in English references: Candlemas, Michaelmas, for example. I'm sure that you can figure out why they were named that way. In a lot of Victorian or Edwardian literature, you will find references to these particular holy days. The Anglicans adopted our terminology. And today some of these holy days are still celebrated in England.

What does this have to do with the price of beans? Glad you asked. I've seen for a long time the phrase "Put Christ back in Christmas." I like the concept and it's great. Make the season about Christ instead of shopping. Good idea.

But I challenge the Catholic world at large: those who call themselves Catholic but are CEOs (Christmas, Easter, Only), those who don't even go to Mass then, and those have turned away from Catholicism for whatever reason to come back. (Er..um...Mom...Dad...I'm talking to you.) Go to Mass and put the Mass back in Christmas.

If you are a CEO, try adding a few other holy days some of the ones in Lent and now during Advent. If you don't go to Mass, try going again. And those who have turned away...I think it's time you dealt with whatever you are having trouble with in the Church (hello, Anne Rice, are you listening?) instead of just turning off.

No, I don't want to hear the excuses. It's time to put on your big girl/big boy underwear and get to work. No more diapers or diatribes for you. Go to Mass.

*stepping off from soap box and eying the world for a challenge*

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