I grew up attending a Methodist church so liberal (or disconnected, I’m not sure which) we didn’t do Lent. We didn’t do advent. And to be honest the verses chosen for the readings did make any sense at all. Perhaps I’m attracted to silent meeting for worship Quakers because I can count on one hand the sermons that I didn’t want to sleep through. Deep breathing and the frequent repetition of “
Om’” helps a lot.
Liturgy? What the heck is liturgy? I stumbled over the idea of liturgy reading In This House of Brede of all places. I can’t help smiling over the whoop ti do over the so called War on Christmas. Christmas? Christ’s Mass? Protestants getting hot under the collar over a piece of Papist liturgy.
Rumor has it that the emperor Constantine had some input in placing the celebration of Christ’s birth around the time of the Solstice since it coincided with the celebration of the God Mithra. And the Solstice has been a time of celebration of the return of the sun for generations.
Working around that date the retelling of the story of Jesus ministry became the liturgy. Until Gutenberg printed the first Bible they were handwritten and rare. Even if the members of a congregation could find a Bible they probably couldn’t read it. And it was a reinforcement for those who were recent converts. Willing or otherwise. Every year the story is retold from Advent to Pentecost.
Easter has to coincide with Passover and the stories told about what came after. I’m willing to bet that priest’s celebrating what was then the Twelve Days of Christmas knew darn well that it wasn’t Jesus birthday. The date wasn’t what was important.
Many of my Puritan ancestors didn’t celebrate Christmas. There were two sacraments. Baptism and communion. The rest was Popish folderol. My Quaker ancestors didn’t either. Every day was sacred, filled with the spirit. They didn’t distinguish one day from the other.
Check out websites on the net. The same denominations most of these fundies belong to still equate the Catholic church with
Babylon and the Pope with Antichrist. That’s
what makes all the sound and fury signifying nothing such a mystery for me.