24

Word origin As stated in previous answers, the "X" in "Xmas" comes from the Greek word for Christ, Χριστός. However, since precision is important, I want to clarify when the abbreviation was first used in English. The 1511 date comes from the Oxford English Dictionary entry for ''Xmas'', which reads: 1551 in E. Lodge Illustr. Brit. Hist. (1791) I. 145 ...


19

Great Britain monks used "X" for "Christ" nearly a thousand years ago. They used "X" for "Christ" while transcribing manuscripts in Old English. They did so because the Greek word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, begins with the letters "chi" (or “X”) and "rho" (or "P"). And the monks used either "X" or "XP" in writing as an abbreviation for "Christ." The first ...


18

"Chronograph" 1 – a document dating to 354 AD 2 in Rome: This was a list of martyrs and their birth dates, and a list of bishops of Rome and their birth dates. The Chronograph lists these dates (birth dates) in calendar order. The first date listed is the "8th of Kalens of January" ("Kalens" is used to refer to the first of a month – putting a number in ...


16

Attitudes on birthdays In the early church, birthdays (in general) were not seen as something to celebrate. For example, in Origen's 8th homily on Leviticus he writes: But the saints not only do not celebrate a festival on their birth days, but, filled with the Holy Spirit, they curse that day. According to an article by Andrew McGowan (Bible Review, ...


13

The advent wreath is an evergreen wreath with four candles. One is rose (pink) and the other three are purple. Before lighting any candles on the wreath you should bless the wreath on the first Sunday of Advent. Make the Sign of the Cross 1 The Father or head of the household then prays "Our help is in the name of the Lord." The family then responds "Who ...


11

Keep in mind that there is no “official” or “correct” way to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is just a devotion, and if someone prays it, he should do so in the way that is most helpful to him. However, it is recommended that the mysteries contemplated should correspond the liturgical calendar. For example (as the O.P. asks), it would seem fitting to pray the ...


8

Why should Christmas be meant to replace anything? The liturgical year is riddled with merriment, every other day is a feast or a solemnity or at least an observance of some pious memorial. Other than to denounce Christ or the Churches that keep Christmas, there is no reason to conflate some pagan festivity no one cares about with Christmas. If there ...


8

The Book of Mormon does not have a "story of Christmas" in the same sense as the Bible does, because it was not set in the land of Israel (except for the very beginning of the book.) Therefore, there is no coverage of the birth of the baby Jesus and the events surrounding it. It does, however, repeatedly prophesy of the coming of the Savior, that he would ...


8

The complete text of the carol can be found here. It seems that of the five verses, only verse one and three are included in the (english) Hymnbook (linked by OP). This specific verse seems of rather trinitarian thought, that may be a reason. Seeing that two other verses have also been omitted: Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home; ...


8

I generally agree with another answer and comments that “modern translations are better”, but I will elaborate a bit on how the variant translations came about. The Hebrew of interest: כְּתֹ֨מֶר מִקְשָׁ֥ה הֵ֙מָּה֙ kətōmer miqšâ hēmmâ They [the idols] are like a tōmer of a miqšâ Both tōmer and miqšâ are somewhat obscure. Tōmer appears only here in the ...


7

The earliest reference I can find is Justin Martyr (c. 100 – 165 AD) who wrote in Dialog With Trypho: But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger. (1)


7

This is a good question and has a simple answer. Nativity scenes are intended to be representations of Jesus birth, not a historically accurate depiction. In other words they are there to remind us of the important elements of the birth, not to be a photorealistic documentary. Therefore the shepherds, the wise men, angels are all included because they were ...


7

The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the (Hebrew) Old Testament and was completed by 132 BC. As the Old Testament contains many references to an "anointed one" (transliterated to English as "Messiah"), the decision by the (Jewish) translators to translate this word to the Greek "Christos" would have been driven by the need to find the nearest equivalent ...


7

The Cherry Tree Carol is thought to date to the 16th or 17th century. The history of its development is murky, but it may be traced to a 15th century Coventry play1 and beyond that to the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, a 7th century apocryphal work describing the birth and childhood of Jesus. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, which titles itself The Birth of the ...


7

Yes, Mormons generally celebrate the birth of Christ on the traditional day of Christmas, December 25. They never said there was scriptural basis for this date; the specific day of the year is not important to them.


6

Part of the reason seems to have been wanting to minimize the drive to direct the Messiah toward worldly goals. Many people wanted a worldly king, e.g., John 6:15 (NIV): Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again into the hills by himself. and there was a desire for "bread and circuses" (well full stomachs and ...


6

The basis for the belief that there were twelve Magi (or more) is a very obscure, apocryphal manuscript called The Revelation of The Magi that was discovered in a Turkish monastery in the 18th century. This Syriac manuscript can be found in the Zuqnin Chronicle (1) and the Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum (2) and currently resides with The Vatican (Biblioteca ...


6

The Greek letter Χ <"chi"> is the first letter in the word Χριστός < Christ >. It was often used in the past for easier transcription of scripture (from Greek to English). There is nothing wrong with using it, but the common mortal on the street most likely does not know its origin. Just use "Christmas".


6

As an addition to Matt's correct answer, to see how LDS Church leaders talk about Christmas one can visit "Christmas" under the Gospel Topics on www.lds.org. The current Church President, Thomas S. Monson, is quoted on the website: When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit. It will ...


5

This is not the entire answer, however, I'd like to give you a perspective that may inform the answer. I grew up in a Christian home, where Santa Clause was forbidden, whereas my wife grew up in a Christian home where Santa Clause was a celebrated and beloved part of the holiday. When I read you question, I could almost here the voice of my mother speaking ...


5

For a God who always seeks to woo and not to overwhelm, this is exactly what you would expect. God could, if he chose, bring more power to bear than any of us could handle. He could force himself into everything, if that were His nature. But, as a person (not a force) who seeks to love and be loved for who He is, this makes perfect sense. As King Henry ...


5

Rakfisk is a traditional Norwegian dish, which is made by burying trout or char in the ground for several months, and then eaten without cooking. It is traditionally eaten around Christmas, but it is not a specifically Christian tradition (any more than turkey or mince pies). Since it is eaten at Christmas, the burying would have to have happened several ...


5

John's Gospel Chapter 1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (v1) and that this Word became flesh and dwelt among us (v14). So Christians beleve the Birth of Christ entailed the Incarnation (becoming flesh) of God Himself as a human person. This, if true, was one of the most important things ever to ...


4

Paul writes in Romans 14:5-8: 5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives ...


4

The Star which led the wise men was a new Heavenly body. Matthew chapter 2:KJV 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. The Star may not have been a Star, ...


4

Typically, yes, most denominations how special services on Christmas eve, and some, possibly, on Christmas day. (More details coming.) In Catholic Churches, there is the Midnight Mass. There's also Christmas Vespers for several denominations including the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican Churches. The LDS Church has some unique ...


4

An Advent Wreath can have: a) 3 purple candles and 1 pink candle; or b) 4 white candles. Apart from the fact that they should be disposed in a shape in harmony with the circular shape of the wreath, there are no other geometric requisites. Supposing that we choose a), each Sunday you light one candle, in this order: purple-purple-pink-purple. The pink one ...


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