History of Childermas: Feast of the Holy Innocents

Childermas

HISTORY OF CHILDERMAS: FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS Childermas, from an Old English word meaning the Mass of the Infants, is the festival in the church calendar begun in the fifth century. It is celebrated in the Western Church on December 28 and in the Eastern Church on December 29. It is also known as…

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History of Boxing Day and the Feast of St. Stephen

Boxing Day

HISTORY OF BOXING DAY While unfamiliar to many Americans, Boxing Day is a well-known holiday among the countries of the former British Commonwealth. It is celebrated on December 26 as a public holiday in the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia… and even Massachusetts, though it’s not a public holiday in…

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History of Caesar Augustus: What Did He Have To Do With Christmas?

augustus caesar

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS: CAESAR AUGUSTUS The first historical character mentioned in the Nativity story in St. Luke‘s narrative of the first Christmas was neither Jewish nor a shepherd nor a Magi. Instead, he was 1,500 miles away, the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, after whom the month of August is named (though he was born on…

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History of the Christmas Star: Natural or supernatural?

Christmas Star

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR: NATURAL OR SUPERNATURAL? The Star of Bethlehem has puzzled scholars for centuries. Some have skeptically dismissed the phenomenon as a myth, a mere literary device to call attention to the importance of the Nativity. Others have argued that the star was miraculously placed there to guide the Magi and is,…

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History of the Christmas Creche: Origin of the Manger scene

Creche

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS CRECHE: ORIGIN OF THE MANGER SCENE One of the most enduring Christmas traditions is setting up a creche during the Advent season. A creche is a model of the scene of the Manger on the first Christmas at Bethlehem. A creche can be a small model set up in the home…

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