Merry Christmas Dad, Bing Crosby Silent Night
Merry Christmas Charlie Brown 2018
Here’s what Christmas is all about:
Christmas Pagan? Nope — Conventional wisdom has become that the holiday celebrating the birth of Christ is something the early Christians co-opted from a pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice.
A Muhlenberg College history professor says that is completely backwards.
William J. Tighe, an associate professor at the college in Allentown, says that Christmas really was thought to be the date of the Lord Jesus’ birth.
The thinking then was that great Jewish prophets died on the date of their birth or conception.
The date of Jesus’ death can be calculated from Gospel accounts.
The faction using the Latin calendar wound up placing the Crucifixion at March 25, according to Tighe. This was the faction that became dominant in the West.
The Latin church determined that was also date that the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary was with child. Nine months later, on Dec. 25, would be the Lord’s birth.
March 25 is still celebrated as the Feast of the Annunciation.
Tighe notes that Rome didn’t celebrate Dec. 25 as a pagan holiday until the anti-Christian Emperor Aurelian declared it to be the festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” in 274. By then, Christianity was already making its impact well felt on the Empire.
Tighe is also a faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry and a member of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem.
Christmas Pagan? Nope
Hat tip Bob Guzzardi
Here Julie Andrews sings In The Bleak Midwinter. It’s from her Christmas television special which aired Dec. 14, 1973.