Archive for December 24th, 2010

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Sol Invictus Is the Reason For the Season

December 24, 2010

Defenders in the imaginary War on Christmas are out in force again this year, this time it seems with less top-down organization from the right-wing gasbags, and more from the grass roots.

For example, I received the following Grinchy email the other day from a VERY conservative (and not at all religious) friend-of-a-friend:

I will be making  a conscious effort to wish everyone A Merry Christmas this year …
My way of saying that I am celebrating The birth Of Jesus Christ.
So I am asking my email buddies, If you agree with me, To please do the same.
And if you’ll pass this on to your email buddies, and so on…
Maybe we can prevent one more American tradition from being lost in the sea of “Political Correctness”.

To one and All…
Jesus is the reason for the season!

My response:  “Happy holidays to you too, Terry.”

So it has come to this – a season allegedly about peace on Earth and good will towards men (and women) now is about limiting the celebration to a very modern and very “Christian” interpretation.

Check out the following message from the Orthodox Observer:

I know you all know that Christmas is one of the Great Feasts of our Church.  But did you know this date was originally a pagan holiday?  This holiday was called the feast of the Sol Invictus or the feast of the Unconquerable Sun. In the fourth century, the Christian church chose December 25th as the date to celebrate the Nativity to show the True Unconquered Son. The sun was celebrated as the great light source but as Christians we know that the Son is the true light of the world. So before you “deck the halls with boughs and holly,” check out more facts about the great feast of our Lord:

http://orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/fasts_feasts/bassoline_origin_christmas.htm

(My thanks to our good friend “Say What” for that gem.)

By the way, Orthodox Christians make every effort to practice their Christianity as closely as possible to the ways of the Ancient Faith of the earliest Christians.  They know what they are talking about.  Follow that link to the Orthodox Research Institute if you interested in more about the origins of our present-day Christmas celebration.  It is excellent.

I close by wishing everyone the happiest of holiday seasons, whatever that may mean to you.  And with a small poem by Edwin Markham:

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

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