How should we prepare for Christmas?
Let us prepare spiritually for Christmas. It is worth remembering about interior and spiritual matters in this frenzy of preparing Christmas Eve dishes and buying gifts.
The church suggests several things to attend. Advent time, which lasts three weeks plus part of the fourth. This year, this fourth week is only one day, Sunday, so we have the shortest possible Advent. It’s the waiting time. Advent itself comes from Roman terminology, where, for example, a king was expected. For us, Advent has a spiritual aspect.
We expect the birth of Jesus. We offer participation in roratas at this time. It is a Holy Mass in honor of the Mother of God. They take place in the morning. The word rorata comes from the Latin antiphon “Rorate caeli desuper” (translate Heaven, let us down from heaven).
The proper subject matter of sermons is a good preparation for Christmas so that everyone can get something out of this lesson. Advent retreats are also held in churches.
It is getting harder and harder to survive because most of the inhabitants of our parish work weekly and cannot come, but we always make such a possibility.
Prepare for Christmas Eve?
A family gathers at the dinner together. It would be worth giving it a solemn and religious character. It should read a fragment of the gospel of Santa Claus talking about Christmas. Carols are an important element. Singing is a prayer.
Breaking bread as an expression of mutual love
It is important to make wishes and break bread, which took the form of a wafer. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Bethlehem in Arabic is “House of Bread”. In some countries, a bundle of grain is put in the room to highlight the aspect of the home of bread.
Hay is placed under the tablecloth to refer to the atmosphere of the birth of Christ in a poor stable. The bread or wafer we share is an expression of mutual love and self-sacrifice. Wishes are usually sincere. At Christmas Eve, people can speak with a human voice, even those who have not spoken to each other for many months.
What should be on the table?
In our tradition, we eat a fasting meal on Christmas Eve. It is worth adding that there is no fasting on this day in the universal church, it is our tradition.
In Italy, fish are consumed on this day. Recently, priests issued a pastoral letter in which they reminded of tradition, and people understood that people endured fasting. And that’s not true. On Christmas Eve there was never fasting under canon law, only in tradition.
This is a customary law. Remember that sitting at a table is not just eating a meal. It is primarily about establishing relationships, especially family and friendly ones. Life often rushes us, we eat meals somewhere on the run, we eat equal fast food. Let’s make sure that the Christmas Eve supper does not look so special.
12 types of meals to prepare for Christmas in a few countries
Customs are different in different places, you cannot set a common denominator here. Some refer to the 12 apostles. However, it is not always enough creativity. It is more important to sit together at the Christmas table, and not to count these dishes.
Christmas tree and decorations traditionally or modernly?
A Christmas tree is a custom that came to us . It refers to this paradise tree, good and evil. The green color refers to the immortality that Jesus brings to salvation. Christmas balls are the grace of Jesus flowing, these are our good deeds, light – it is Christ who is the light. All these symbols: Christmas tree, wafer, hay and everything is very important because it is associated with the atmosphere of Christmas.
we have observed that Christmas has become not only a religious, but also a cultural rite. One cannot forbid to sit at a Christmas Eve table without a person’s faith. It is our duty to invite such a person to the table. Whether the Christmas tree will be decorated more traditionally or otherwise depends on human tastes. On holidays we sometimes see references to
Saint. Nicholas of Mira, and sometimes more humorous, referring to Santa created by CocaCola to prepare for Christmas. However, it should be remembered that Christmas is a joyful holiday, so if someone makes a joyful decoration thus expressing the state of their spirit, joy of preparation and staying Christmas can do so. Who prefers traditional, maybe traditional. Who wants it to be joyful, to sparkle, it shines the most. There is no indication here.
We also leave one place for an overseas guest.
We think here about the people who left us for the Father’s house, about those who live far away, about lonely people for whom we find a place at the table. It is also an element of our tradition. It’s a good tradition that builds a bond of tradition and should be preserved.
At midnight we all go to the midnight mass.
It comes from the tradition that the first people who came to the crib were shepherds. They first believed and were the first to see and worship Jesus. In our tradition, the midnight mass takes place at midnight, although Christmas begins earlier, from the first vespers, i.e. when it gets dark. The Midnight Mass can be celebrated at sunset. Of course, the Midnight Mass can be celebrated at different times. Pope Francis himself celebrates it at 22:00, in some parishes as if the church is small two midnight celebrations.
Has Christmas always been celebrated on such a date and in such a way?
The date of Christmas is a secondary, later reality. In the primary church such a holiday was always Sunday and Easter as Sunday Sunday. Over time, when Christianity regained freedom on Constantine the Great, these holidays developed. People needed such holidays. Christianity, when it developed in the Roman Empire, encountered certain customs that were. Christianity baptized what was pagan. Christian basilicas were built on the ruins of Roman palaces. Some customs were also adopted in the church. It is likely that December 25 was the day the sun god was worshiped in paganism. Using the customs inherent in the Roman nation, Christmas began in the 4th century.