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« The Mystery Made Present to Us | Main | The Holy Family: Gift of Love, Source of Life »

Friday, December 24, 2010


David A.

And a very nice rant it is too! Seriously, I enjoyed reading your thought-provoking post.

Merry Christmas, Carl!

Ted K

Actually, the Incarnation is not celebrated at Christmas, but at the Annunciation, 9 months earlier. What we celebrate at Christmas, particularly in the East, is an epiphany, the showing of the Lord made flesh to the world. In very ancient times, the Incarnation was celeberated on the same day as the death of our Lord (Good Friday), which in our Western calendar is 25 March. We even have vestiges of this in Gregorian chant such as in the kalenda for the Nativity, which changes to the tone of the Passion at the end. The celebration of the Incarnation should be more important than Christmas, but in the West at least, this is not so. I think the western Church should redress this historical anomaly, as it has some important consequences on its view of abortion for today.

Carl E. Olson

What we celebrate at Christmas, particularly in the East, is an epiphany, the showing of the Lord made flesh to the world.

And the term for God "make flesh" is "the Incarnation". I understand your point to a certain degree and recognize, as someone who attends a Byzantine Catholic parish, the distinction/emphasis you are making. But the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord is very much about the Incarnation: "In the liturgical year the various aspects of the one Paschal mystery unfold. This is also the case with the cycle of feasts surrounding the mystery of the incarnation (Annunciation, Christmas, Epiphany)" (CCC 1171).

Carl E. Olson

Thanks, David! Merry Christmas!

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