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Does Christmas have pagan origins?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 19th December 2019 in Christmas | christmas,xmas,origins,pagan,pagan roots,church fathers,church history,Saturnalia,Epiphany,Annunciation,Tertullian,Origen,john chrysostom,incarnation,liturgical calendar,church calendar,festivals
...Christmas celebrations owe much to second century Roman festivals — with one key difference: we aren’t celebrating these things today as a sacrifice or in honour of Caesar or one of the Roman gods. This is why such festivals (and those who frequented them—Christians included) were spoken against so much by early Christian leaders, as their intent was a completely different focus. What less of a defamation does he incur on that ground than does a business … that is publicly consecrated to an idol? The Minervalia are as much Minerva’s as the Saturnalia is Saturn’s … likewise, New Year’s gifts must be caught at. The Septimontium must be kept. And...
 

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 30th October 2017 in Halloween | halloween,all saints day,all hallows eve,early church,tradition,cultural and society,celebrations,festivals,holidays,holy day
...e initial celebrations of All Hallows Eve/Saint Day originated in Irish and Celtic populated countries. The ancient documents we looked at previously by Cyrian and about Polycarp et al. show us that these practices began in the area of Turkey and Syria, even if not widespread at the time. By the Middle Ages, the Pope was declaring this a Church-wide festival in May, which began in Rome (and again when the date was moved to November 1st). So we can see even from a brief look at history, Hallowe’en celebrations originally had nothing to do with anything remotely Celtic. As far as Irish and Celtic origins go, we have still in existence a few Irish sources from a...
 

What was so good about Good Friday?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 18th April 2014 in Easter | Good Friday,Jesus,crucifixion,forgiveness,sin,Easter,Holy Week,Christmas
...terms of celebrations and events, than it does for his resurrection. Though that's probably partly due to Western culture and the so-called "War on Christmas" making some churches push Christmas harder. I digress. Paul makes his view on the resurrection, and thus the whole point of Christianity, quite clear in 1 Cor 15:12-19 (emphasis mine) — Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found...
 

Great Lent

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 13th February 2016 in Fasting | Lent,Easter,Fasting,Prayer,early church,early church fathers,paganism,pagan roots
...), Easter celebrations within the Church was a standard event which was preceded by 40 days of fasting. Athanasius had a custom of writing his "paschal (Easter) letters" to the churches at this time of year to give encouragement for fasting and self-control and moderation, linking the 40 days to the length of Jesus' fast in the desert. His letters are useful as they show quite clearly that the time of Lent and Easter have been established for many centuries in the Church, and are nothing to do with paganism! The beginning of the fast of forty days is on the fifth of the month Phamenoth [Ash Wednesday]; and when, as I have said, we have first been purified and...
 

Does Easter Have Pagan Origins?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 22nd March 2021 in Easter | Easter,easter sunday,early church,church history,paganism,pagan roots,Ishtar,Eostre,fertility goddess
...), Easter celebrations within the Church was a standard event which was preceded by at least forty days of fasting. Athanasius had a custom of writing his “paschal (Easter) letters” to the churches at this time of year to give encouragement for fasting, self-control and moderation, linking the 40 days to the length of Jesus’ fast in the desert. His letters are useful as they show quite clearly that the time of Lent and Easter have been established for many centuries in the Church, and have nothing to do with paganism as they predate any Anglo-Saxon or German goddess by about 600 years (if they even existed)! The beginning of the fast of forty days is on t...
 
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