Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Christmas Season: Why the 25th?  

In the most edition of the Rosary Center's Rosary Light and Life, I read an explanation for why Christmas was placed on the twenty-fifth of December. I found it to be quite fascinating because it runs counter to most ideas about how backward the ancients were. The shortest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere, to which all of the following only applies) is December 22nd. On this day, there are the shortest number of hours of daylight. However, December 13th is the first day on which the sun sets later than it did the day before. And January 6th is the first day on which the sun rises earlier than it did the day before. Both of these days have astronomical significance in terms of light. They also share the spiritual theme of light. December 13th is the feast of St. Lucy whose name is derived from the word for light, lux. She was a martyr early in the life of the Church. Her martyrdom is a light of witness to Christ. And December 6th is Epiphany when the Light of Christ is first revealed to the Gentiles as the Church celebrates the magi who came to worship the new King. December 25th is 12 days away from each of these days. By placing the feasts days is this way, the early Church calendar-makers were highlighting the theme of light which is so important to this holy feast day.
The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen. Is. 9:2

Posted by David at 8:03 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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