Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Name of Christmas

Under the category of "Things that make you say, hmmm..."

Have you ever noticed how many Christians get all offended that many merchants take "Christ out of Christmas" by using "X-mas?"  Or that some big chain stores insist their employees say "Happy Holidays" and not "Merry Christmas?"  Or do you really wish "Peace on earth, goodwill to men?" 

Many, if not most of these Christians are non-Catholics who want the word "Christmas" used.  Ironically, the actual name refers to the "Christ Mass" - a very "Catholic" meaning to the name itself!  I have to wonder that as this is more widely known and recognized, will there be Protestant movements to stop calling it "Christmas" altogether?  If they insist upon the literalness of "Christmas" then they are implicitly endorsing the First Mass of Christmas.

Getting offended over "Happy Holidays" is also unwarranted.  The actual liturgical season when most are celebrating what they think is Christmas is Advent.  All Christians should actually embrace that someone is wishing their "Holy Days" be "Happy."  The Christmas Season does not actually begin until the First Mass of Christmas - the Christ Mass, typically conducted at midnight Christmas Eve into Christmas morning.

Now, for those offended by the "X" in "X-mas" - you could actually embrace that as well!  The "X" is an ancient symbol from the Greek which means "Christ."

"Peace on earth, goodwill to men" is actually a mistranslation!  It should read, "Peace on earth to men of good will."  Yes, we all wish for peace on earth, but do we wish that for men of ill-will?  Should they be at peace in their ill-will?  No, but to those who are of good will, we most certainly could and should wish them peace and happiness.

Today is the 4th Day of Christmas - so MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Peace to men of good will!



  1. Christmas is the English name for the holyday of the birth of our Lord. Most Catholic folks call it Nativity. The same goes for Easter. With the exception of the Germans and the English, the reat of the Catholic world calls it Pasch, that is, Passover.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Vegaia, I'm not the owner of this blog, but I resent your hijacking of this post to spread your pagan propaganda. I think I can safely say none of the regular commentators on CathApol care to hear this kind of foolishness. We discuss Catholic issues and veganism isn't a Catholic issue unless we happen to be discussing 1Timothy 4:1-5. You might want to read it. You might learn something.

  4. scotju,
    I have removed vegaia's post, it had nothing to do with the Catholic Faith and, as you said, was merely an attempt to hijack the discussion into a PETA or Vegan discussion. If that were the topic, I would have let it stay - but clearly it wasn't.

    As Administrator

  5. Thanks, Scot, for keeping yor blog free of foolishness like this.

  6. Yes, it is the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord. However, Christmas is from the Catholic shorter version for Christ's Mass--the Mass for the birth of Christ. It is from Catholic tradition that is true.

    I am part of the "Catholic world" too and I rarely hear Easter Sunday referred to as Pasch. Those who have studied Catholic history and those who know Catholic theology may call the time of year the Pasch. However, it is not the passover, it is the celebration of the Resurrection and the vast majority of Catholic laymen and clergy refer to that Sunday as Easter. The irony I find in the celebration is that the Protestant world uses the Catholic Church's reckoning of the date of Easter each year to celebrate Easter Sunday.


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