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754, a date first suggested two centuries later; in no year between 751 and 754 could 25 December fall on a Friday; tradition is constant in placing Christ's birth on Wednesday. Apart from this, these entries in a consul list are manifest interpolations. Vel quod dicant Solis esse natalem, ipse est Sol iustitiæ." — "But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December . Conclusion The present writer in inclined to think that, be the origin of the feast in East or West, and though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too. ; and of Nativity and Conception of the Baptist (cf. Though Rome gives three Masses to the Nativity only, Ildefonsus, a Spanish bishop, in 845, alludes to a triple mass on Nativity, Easter, Whitsun, and Transfiguration (P. These Masses, at midnight, dawn, and in die , were mystically connected with aboriginal, Judaic, and Christian dispensations, or (as by St. The second Mass was celebrated by the pope in the " chapel royal" of the Byzantine Court officials on the Palatine, i.e. Anastasia's church, originally called, like the basilica at Constantinople, Anastasis, and like it built at first to reproduce the Jerusalem Anastasis basilica -- and like it, finally, in abandoning the name "Anastasis" for that of the martyr St. The second Mass would therefore be a papal compliment to the imperial church on its patronal feast. The day became a favourite for court ceremonies, and on it, e.g., William of Normandy was crowned at Westminster. Pastores); the latter Church celebrated a second "prophetical" mystery after Tierce, in which Virgil and the Sibyl join with Old Testament prophets in honouring Christ.
29) leaves Him only twenty eight, and one-quarter years of life. the eight before the calends of January [25 December] . ., But they call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Unfortunately, there is no contemporary evidence for the celebration in the fourth century of Christ's conception on 25 March. Popular merry-making, however, so increased that the "Laws of King Cnut", fabricated c. The three Masses The Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries give three Masses to this feast, and these, with a special and sublime martyrology, and dispensation, if necessary, from abstinence, still mark our usage. Peter's, reproduced in Rome the double Christmas Office mentioned by Etheria (see above) at Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Peter's, and said the third Mass at the high altar of St. At this third Mass Leo III inaugurated, in 800, by the coronation of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Empire.
The reckoning, moreover, is wholly in keeping with the arguments based on number and astronomy and "convenience", then so popular. Till the tenth century Christmas counted, in papal reckoning, as the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, as it still does in Bulls ; Boniface VIII (1294-1303) restored temporarily this usage, to which Germany held longest. XV, 5,5) forbids, in 425, circus games on 25 December; though not till Codex Just., III, 12, 6 (529) is cessation of work imposed. xi, xvii) proclaims, in 566 or 567, the sanctity of the "twelve days" from Christmas to Epiphany, and the duty of Advent fast; that of Agde (506), in canons 63-64, orders a universal communion, and that of Braga (563) forbids fasting on Christmas Day. Mary Major -- a church probably immediately assimilated to the Bethlehem basilica -- and the third, at St.
Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice." Already Tertullian (Apol., 16; cf. Eccl., VII, 18) kept Easter on 6 April; both 25 December and 6 January are thus simultaneously explained. Catt., 21 September, 1895, etc.): The first Mass, celebrated at the Oratorium Præsepis in St.
Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.
L., XLIX, 820), written 418-427, that the Egyptian monasteries still observe the "ancient custom "; but on 29 Choiak (25 December) and 1 January, 433, Paul of Emesa preached before Cyril of Alexandria, and his sermons (see Mansi, IV, 293; appendix to Act. Eph.) show that the December celebration was then firmly established there, and calendars prove its permanence. Basil (who died before 1 January, 379) and the two following, preached on St. G., XLVI, 788; cf, 701, 721), prove that in 380 the 25th December was already celebrated there, unless, following Usener's too ingenious arguments (Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen, Bonn, 1889, 247-250), one were to place those sermons in 383. In 385, therefore, 25 December was not observed at Jerusalem. Cyril declares that his clergy cannot, on the single feast of Birth and Baptism, make a double procession to Bethlehem and Jordan. 1724) makes Julius write thus to Juvenal of Jerusalem (c. But between February, 386, when Flavian ordained Chrysostom priest, and December is ample time for the preaching of all the sermons under discussion. This time he was successful; in a crowded church he defended the new custom. If Marcellina became a nun only after the canonical age of twenty-five, and if Ambrose was born only in 340, it is perhaps likelier that the event occurred after 357. L., XXXIII, 200) omits it from a list of first-class festivals. 106, 107) shows how hopeless is the calculation of Zachary's week from any point before or after it. 1588), says: "Sed et dominus noster nascitur mense decembris . But probably the Yule-log in its many forms was originally lit only in view of the cold season. a round, of wood, given by him, would burn, the landlord gave to a tenant a load of wood on the birth of a child; Kindsfuss was a present given to children on the birth of a brother or sister, and even to the farm animals on that of Christ, the universal little brother (Tiele, op. In a thirteenth-century French epic, candles are seen on the flowering tree.
The December feast therefore reached Egypt between 427 and 433. G., CXLVII, 440; Isaac, Catholicos of Armenia in eleventh or twelfth century, "Adv. G., CXXII, 1193; Neale, "Holy Eastern Church ", Introd., p. Also, Asterius of Amaseia (fifth century) and Amphilochius of Iconium (contemporary of Basil and Gregory ) show that in their dioceses both the feasts of Epiphany and Nativity were separate (P. Jerusalem In 385, Silvia of Bordeaux (or Etheria, as it seems clear she should be called) was profoundly impressed by the splendid Chilhood feasts at Jerusalem. This checks the so-called correspondence between Cyril of Jerusalem (348-386) and Pope Julius I (337-352), quoted by John of Nikiû (c. (This later practice is here an anachronism.) He asks Julius to assign the true date of the nativity "from census documents brought by Titus to Rome "; Julius assigns 25 December. 425-458), adding that Gregory Nazianzen at Constantinople was being criticized for "halving" the festival. G., LXXXV, 469), thinks that Juvenal tried at least to introduce this feast, but that Cyril's greater name attracted that event to his own period. Philogonius, Chrysostom preached an important sermon. The year was almost certainly 386, though Clinton gives 387, and Usener, by a long rearrangement of the saint's sermons, 388 (Religionsgeschichtl. It was no novelty; from Thrace to Cadiz this feast was observed -- rightly, since its miraculously rapid diffusion proved its genuineness. According, however, to John of Nikiû , Honorius, when he was present on a visit, arranged with Arcadius for the observation of the feast on the Roman date. In the list of consuls are four anomalous ecclesiastical entries: the birth and death days of Christ, the entry into Rome, and martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul. Though the sermon abounds in references appropriate to the Epiphany (the marriage at Cana, the multiplication of loaves, etc.), these seem due (Kellner, op. 109) to sequence of thought, and do not fix the sermon to 6 January, a feast unknown in Rome till much later. 272) that Liberius preached it on that day in 353, instituting the Nativity feast in the December of the same year; but Philocalus warrants our supposing that if preceded his pontificate by some time, though Duchesne's relegation of it to 243 ( Bull. From the fourth century every Western calendar assigns it to 25 December. 748, whence Christ's conception falls in March, and birth presumably in December. Analogy to Old Testament festivals It seems impossible, on analogy of the relation of Passover and Pentecost to Easter and Whitsuntide, to connect the Nativity with the feast of Tabernacles, as did, e.g., Lightfoot (Horæ Hebr, et Talm., II, 32), arguing from Old Testament prophecy, e.g. Natalis Invicti The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. 338) has collected the evidence for the feast, which reached its climax of popularity under Aurelian in 274. Christ should be born." In the fourth century, Chrysostom, "del Solst. Only in 1577 did it become a public ceremony in England ; its popularity, however, grew immense, especially in Provence; in Tuscany, Christmas is simply called ceppo (block, log -- Bonaccorsi, op. In England it was Joseph of Arimathea's rod which flowered at Glastonbury and elsewhere; when 3 September became 14 September, in 1752, 2000 people watched to see if the Quainton thorn ( cratagus præcox ) would blow on Christmas New Style; and as it did not, they refused to keep the New Style festival.
Secondly, we shall give an historical survey of the three branches of the order. FORMATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE TEXTS In regard to their legislation the first two orders are closely connected, and must be treated together. Dominic and his first companions in Languedoc led up to the pontifical letters of Innocent III, 17 Nov., 1205 (Potthast, "Reg., Pont., Rom.", 2912).
The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse , the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe , in 1131. The name in Anglo-Saxon was geol , feast : geola , the name of a month (cf. Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (VII, 32 in P. G., VIII, 888) says that certain Egyptian theologians "over curiously" assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ's birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus. Clement, however, also tells us that the Basilidians celebrated the Epiphany, and with it, probably, the Nativity, on 15 or 11 Tybi (10 or 6 January). 354, unless indeed pre-existing popular celebration must be assumed to render possible this official recognition. These essentially popular airs, and even words, must, however, have existed long before they were put down in writing.
In Dutch it is Kerst-misse , in Latin Dies Natalis , whence comes the French Noël , and Italian Il natale ; in German Weihnachtsfest , from the preceeding sacred vigil. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts ; Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia , asserts (in Lev. L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the "birthdays" of the gods. [Ideler (Chron., II, 397, n.) thought they did this believing that the ninth month, in which Christ was born, was the ninth of their own calendar.] Others reached the date of 24 or 25 Pharmuthi (19 or 20 April). At any rate this double commemoration became popular, partly because the apparition to the shepherds was considered as one manifestation of Christ's glory, and was added to the greater manifestations celebrated on 6 January; partly because at the baptism -manifestation many codices (e.g. Were the Chalki manuscript of Hippolytus genuine, evidence for the December feast would exist as early as c. The relevant passage [which exists in the Chigi manuscript Without the bracketed words and is always so quoted before George Syncellus (c. Cards and presents Pagan customs centering round the January calends gravitated to Christmas.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.
As the Order of the Friars Preachers is the principal part of the entire Order of St.
Were the day of Christ's birth in the flesh alone there found, it might stand as heading the year of martyrs' spiritual natales ; but 22 February is there wholly out of place. Liturgical colours varied: black, white, red, or (e.g. The Gloria was at first sung only in the first Mass of this day. iv)], but the practice of giving dramatic, or at least spectacular, expression to the incidents of the Nativity early gave rise to more or less liturgical mysteries. The presence of ox and ass is due to a misinterpretation of Isaias i:3 and Habacuc 3:2 ("Itala" version), though they appear in the unique fourth-century "Nativity" discovered in the St. The ass on which Balaam rode in the Reims mystery won for the feast the title Festum Asinorum ( Ducange, op. Prudentius, in the fourth century, is the first (and in that century alone) to hymn the Nativity, for the "Vox clara" ( hymn for Lauds in Advent ) and "Christe Redemptor" ( Vespers and Matins of Christmas) cannot be assigned to Ambrose.