Christmas Day


Christmas Day
   Christmas is preeminently a Church Festival, and observed on December 25th. On this day the Church celebrates with joy, gladness and exultation the Nativity of her Lord, who became Incarnate (i.e., took our nature upon Him) and was born of a pure Virgin. As the angels at His Birth, so mankind ever since has hailed the Day of His Nativity with exceeding great joy. The Puritans strove with all their ardor to destroy it, but happily did not succeed. The argument used against it, that the Birthday of the Child Jesus is not known, and, therefore, cannot be preserved, does not prevail against the universal longing to celebrate in some way this great event. We are not surprised, therefore, to find that from the very earliest period Christmas was observed. St. Chrysostom, in the fourth century, speaks of it as being even then of great antiquity. In one of his Epistles he mentions that Julius I, about A.D. 350, had caused strict inquiry to be made and had confirmed the observance of Christmas on December 25th.
   Christmas has always been observed with several celebrations of the Holy Eucharist, three at least taking place; one at midnight, another at early dawn and the third at midday. The growing devotion of the American Church has demanded this celebration of Christmas and, therefore, at the last revision of the Prayer Book a second Collect, Epistle and Gospel for this day was inserted. It is customary to decorate our churches on Christmas with evergreen as symbolical of the eternal nature of our Lord; to deck the Altar with white symbol of joy and purity, and in some places with lighted candles to typify our Lord as the Light of the world.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Christmas day — Christmas Christ mas, n. [Christ + mass.] An annual church festival (December 25) and in some States a legal holiday, in memory of the birth of Christ, often celebrated by a particular church service, and also by special gifts, greetings, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Christmas Day — n [U] December 25th, the day when most Christians celebrate the birth of Christ ▪ I always spend Christmas Day with my family. ▪ We ll be at home on Christmas Day …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Christmas Day — See quarter day. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • Christmas Day — noun count or uncount December 25, celebrated by Christians as the day that Jesus Christ was born …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Christmas Day — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms Christmas Day : singular Christmas Day plural Christmas Days 25 December, celebrated by Christians as the day that Jesus Christ was born …   English dictionary

  • Christmas Day — N UNCOUNT Christmas Day is the 25th of December, when Christmas is celebrated …   English dictionary

  • Christmas Day — noun a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ; a quarter day in England, Wales, and Ireland • Syn: ↑Christmas, ↑Xmas, ↑Dec 25 • Hypernyms: ↑legal holiday, ↑national holiday, ↑public holiday, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Christmas Day — noun the day on which Christmas is celebrated. Usually held on December 25 in the West, and January 7 in some Eastern Orthodox churches. See Also: Christmas Eve …   Wiktionary

  • Christmas Day — /krɪsməs ˈdeɪ/ (say krismuhs day) noun the day on which the birth of Christ is celebrated; 25 December for Western Christians, as Catholics and Protestants, 6 or 7 January for Eastern Christians, as members of the Orthodox Church and Copts; often …   Australian English dictionary

  • Christmas Day — noun (C, U) December 25th, the day when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English