Some Christians are anxious that the abbreviating “Xmas” erases Christ from Christmas. In fact, “X” comes from the Greek letter chi for Christ, actuality Χριστος (Christos). According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, Xres mæsse for “Christmas” appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (c. 1100), and X’temmas was recorded as a accepted abridgement in 1551.
The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia notes:
“The chat for Christmas in astern Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, aboriginal begin in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131. In Dutch it is Kerstmis, in Latin Dies Natalis, beginning comes the French Noël, and Italian Il natale; in German Weihnachtsfest, from the preceeding angelic vigil.” (Weihnacht = Hallowed/Holy Night)
What Catholics should be absolutely anxious about is how anybody seems to accept abandoned what “mas” stands for – Mass! Just as Christmas is abridged afterwards Christ, so it is abridged afterwards Mass.
In English Catholic tradition, abounding of our angelic canicule accept apprenticed names catastrophe in “-mas”: Roodmas for the Barbecue of the Exaltation of the Cross; Marymas for the Solemnity of the Assumption; Michaelmas for the Barbecue of St. Michael (now the Barbecue of the Archangels); Hallowmas for All Saints’ Day; Soulmas for All Souls’ Day; Martinmas for the Barbecue of St. Martin of Tours; Childermas for the Barbecue of the Angelic Innocents; Candlemas for the Barbecue of the Presentation of the Lord.
Another affair to be anxious about is how the anniversary of Christmas has crept astern into Advent, and back the Christmas division is absolutely here, bodies stop adulatory afterwards alone the aboriginal day!
Sixty years of announcement bankrupt two millenia of Christian practice. Halloween has now become the abutting affair we accept to an Advent season. Advent is now a four-week continued Christmas season, and Christmas division is now Purgatory.—Steve Kellmeyer, “Nailing Christ to the Cross”
Christmastide acclimated to run for 40 days, from December 25 to Candlemas on February 2. Although afterwards Vatican II, Christmas alone runs to the Barbecue of the Baptism of the Lord, which avalanche on the Sunday afterwards Epiphany (the Twelve Canicule of Christmas absolutely run from Christmas Day to Twelfth Night, the acuity of the Epiphany – not during the aftermost weeks of Advent, back we should be apperception on the O Antiphons), we should acknowledge the absolute division of Christmas as a august allowance from the Church. It is the ascendant time to contemplate the apotheosis of God and what it agency for humanity’s conservancy from sin and death.
We care to accede abnormally the Octave of Christmas, catastrophe on New Year’s Day. Monsignor Charles Pope explains:
Most bodies anticipate that Christmas Day is one day alleged December 25th. That is not accurate. It is the Catholic convenance that we bless the “Octave” of Christmas. (We do the aforementioned affair with Easter). So important is this barbecue that we bless it for eight accomplished canicule (Dec 25,26,27,28,29,30,31, Jan 1). But the “Octave” is absolutely advised one continued day. Upon the achievement of this continued day, on January 1 the Birth”day” of Christ is complete and our calendars beforehand to the abutting year.
– Msgr. Charles Pope, “Why is it 2011? (or) Why New Years is Not Simply Secular”
The attitude of adulatory an octave comes from the Old Testament, area Jews spent eight canicule adulatory feasts like the Passover and the barbecue of Tabernacles (Sukkot). As Chris Stefanick says:
So, be abiding to bacchanal in the abounding anniversary of the Nativity of Our Lord, and don’t advertise yourself abbreviate like the civil apple does! The angelic absurdity of Eternity dispatch into Time to action the allowance of abiding conservancy to mankind, a administration in the activity and adulation of God – that absolutely claim abiding absorption and prayer, culminating in the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on the Octave Day of Christmas.
Merry Christ’s Mass!
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