We must not forget that most of these adjuncts to worship, like music, lights, perfumes, ablutions, floral decorations, canopies, fans, screens, bells, vestments, etc.were not identified with any idolatrous cult in particular; they were common to almost all cults. Sun-worship has bequeathed features to modern popular worship in Armenia, where Christians had once temporarily and externally conformed to the cult of the material sun (Cumont, op. The "mountain-birth" of Mithra and Christ's in the "grotto" have nothing in common: Mithra's adoring shepherds (Cumont, op. 304 sqq.) are rather borrowed from Christian sources than vice versa. 549) with its probable connection through Phrygia with the Naasene heretics, or even with the Alexandrian ceremony quoted above; nor yet in rites analogous to the midwinter cult at Delphi of the cradled Dionysus, with his revocation from the sea to a new birth (Harrison, op. The astronomical theory Duchesne (Les origines du culte chrétien, Paris, 1902, 262 sqq.) advances the "astronomical" theory that, given 25 March as Christ's death-day [historically impossible, but a tradition old as Tertullian (Adv. L., LIV, 218 and 198) bitterly reproves solar survivals — Christians, on the very doorstep of the Apostles' basilica, turn to adore the rising sun. But even should a deliberate and legitimate "baptism" of a pagan feast be seen here no more than the transference of the date need be supposed. The reckoning, moreover, is wholly in keeping with the arguments based on number and astronomy and "convenience", then so popular. Till the tenth century Christmas counted, in papal reckoning, as the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, as it still does in Bulls ; Boniface VIII (1294-1303) restored temporarily this usage, to which Germany held longest. XV, 5,5) forbids, in 425, circus games on 25 December; though not till Codex Just., III, 12, 6 (529) is cessation of work imposed. xi, xvii) proclaims, in 566 or 567, the sanctity of the "twelve days" from Christmas to Epiphany, and the duty of Advent fast; that of Agde (506), in canons 63-64, orders a universal communion, and that of Braga (563) forbids fasting on Christmas Day. Mary Major -- a church probably immediately assimilated to the Bethlehem basilica -- and the third, at St. Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice." Already Tertullian (Apol., 16; cf. Eccl., VII, 18) kept Easter on 6 April; both 25 December and 6 January are thus simultaneously explained. Catt., 21 September, 1895, etc.): The first Mass, celebrated at the Oratorium Præsepis in St.The use of a multitude of candles and lamps was undoubtedly a prominent feature of the celebration of the Easter vigil , dating, we may believe, almost from Apostolic times.
6 January; Armenia likewise ignored, and still ignores, the December festival. In the "Depositio Martyrum" a list of Roman or early and universally venerated martyrs, under 25 December is found "VIII kal. Zachary's temple service Arguments based on Zachary's temple ministry are unreliable, though the calculations of antiquity (see above) have been revived in yet more complicated form, e.g.
L., XLIX, 820), written 418-427, that the Egyptian monasteries still observe the "ancient custom "; but on 29 Choiak (25 December) and 1 January, 433, Paul of Emesa preached before Cyril of Alexandria, and his sermons (see Mansi, IV, 293; appendix to Act. Eph.) show that the December celebration was then firmly established there, and calendars prove its permanence. Basil (who died before 1 January, 379) and the two following, preached on St. G., XLVI, 788; cf, 701, 721), prove that in 380 the 25th December was already celebrated there, unless, following Usener's too ingenious arguments (Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen, Bonn, 1889, 247-250), one were to place those sermons in 383. In 385, therefore, 25 December was not observed at Jerusalem. Cyril declares that his clergy cannot, on the single feast of Birth and Baptism, make a double procession to Bethlehem and Jordan. 1724) makes Julius write thus to Juvenal of Jerusalem (c. But between February, 386, when Flavian ordained Chrysostom priest, and December is ample time for the preaching of all the sermons under discussion. This time he was successful; in a crowded church he defended the new custom. If Marcellina became a nun only after the canonical age of twenty-five, and if Ambrose was born only in 340, it is perhaps likelier that the event occurred after 357. L., XXXIII, 200) omits it from a list of first-class festivals. 106, 107) shows how hopeless is the calculation of Zachary's week from any point before or after it. 1588), says: "Sed et dominus noster nascitur mense decembris . But probably the Yule-log in its many forms was originally lit only in view of the cold season. a round, of wood, given by him, would burn, the landlord gave to a tenant a load of wood on the birth of a child; Kindsfuss was a present given to children on the birth of a brother or sister, and even to the farm animals on that of Christ, the universal little brother (Tiele, op. In a thirteenth-century French epic, candles are seen on the flowering tree.
The December feast therefore reached Egypt between 427 and 433. G., CXLVII, 440; Isaac, Catholicos of Armenia in eleventh or twelfth century, "Adv. G., CXXII, 1193; Neale, "Holy Eastern Church ", Introd., p. Also, Asterius of Amaseia (fifth century) and Amphilochius of Iconium (contemporary of Basil and Gregory ) show that in their dioceses both the feasts of Epiphany and Nativity were separate (P. Jerusalem In 385, Silvia of Bordeaux (or Etheria, as it seems clear she should be called) was profoundly impressed by the splendid Chilhood feasts at Jerusalem. This checks the so-called correspondence between Cyril of Jerusalem (348-386) and Pope Julius I (337-352), quoted by John of Nikiû (c. (This later practice is here an anachronism.) He asks Julius to assign the true date of the nativity "from census documents brought by Titus to Rome "; Julius assigns 25 December. 425-458), adding that Gregory Nazianzen at Constantinople was being criticized for "halving" the festival. G., LXXXV, 469), thinks that Juvenal tried at least to introduce this feast, but that Cyril's greater name attracted that event to his own period. Philogonius, Chrysostom preached an important sermon. The year was almost certainly 386, though Clinton gives 387, and Usener, by a long rearrangement of the saint's sermons, 388 (Religionsgeschichtl. It was no novelty; from Thrace to Cadiz this feast was observed -- rightly, since its miraculously rapid diffusion proved its genuineness. According, however, to John of Nikiû , Honorius, when he was present on a visit, arranged with Arcadius for the observation of the feast on the Roman date. In the list of consuls are four anomalous ecclesiastical entries: the birth and death days of Christ, the entry into Rome, and martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul. Though the sermon abounds in references appropriate to the Epiphany (the marriage at Cana, the multiplication of loaves, etc.), these seem due (Kellner, op. 109) to sequence of thought, and do not fix the sermon to 6 January, a feast unknown in Rome till much later. 272) that Liberius preached it on that day in 353, instituting the Nativity feast in the December of the same year; but Philocalus warrants our supposing that if preceded his pontificate by some time, though Duchesne's relegation of it to 243 ( Bull. From the fourth century every Western calendar assigns it to 25 December. 748, whence Christ's conception falls in March, and birth presumably in December. Analogy to Old Testament festivals It seems impossible, on analogy of the relation of Passover and Pentecost to Easter and Whitsuntide, to connect the Nativity with the feast of Tabernacles, as did, e.g., Lightfoot (Horæ Hebr, et Talm., II, 32), arguing from Old Testament prophecy, e.g. Natalis Invicti The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. 338) has collected the evidence for the feast, which reached its climax of popularity under Aurelian in 274. Christ should be born." In the fourth century, Chrysostom, "del Solst. Only in 1577 did it become a public ceremony in England ; its popularity, however, grew immense, especially in Provence; in Tuscany, Christmas is simply called ceppo (block, log -- Bonaccorsi, op. In England it was Joseph of Arimathea's rod which flowered at Glastonbury and elsewhere; when 3 September became 14 September, in 1752, 2000 people watched to see if the Quainton thorn ( cratagus præcox ) would blow on Christmas New Style; and as it did not, they refused to keep the New Style festival.
The civil calendar alone was not added to, as it was useless after the abandonment of pagan festivals. The earliest German Weihnachtslieder date from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the earliest noels from the eleventh, the earliest carols from the thirteenth.
Here, as in the consular fasti , popular feasts were later inserted for convenience' sake. at Narbonne) red, white, violet were used (Durand, Rat. The historical origin of this triple Mass is probably as follows (cf. The ordinaria of Rouen and of Reims, for instance, place the officium pastorum immediately after the Te Deum and before Mass (cf. "A solis ortu" is certainly, however, by Sedulius (fifth century).