Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Oct 11, '11, 2:17 pm
Swiss Guy's Avatar
Swiss Guy Swiss Guy is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: May 14, 2011
Posts: 4,000
Religion: Christian in the Holy Catholic Church
Default Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Why do we celebrate Christmas when life begins at conception?

Basically, why do we have huge celebrations for Christmas when we should really be celebrating the Annunciation with huge celebrations.

It's just been confusing me lately.
__________________



Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Oct 11, '11, 2:31 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: August 5, 2010
Posts: 17,409
Religion: ☦ Orthodox Christian ☦
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
Why do we celebrate Christmas when life begins at conception?
We also celebrate the Annunciation, which is the conception of Christ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
Basically, why do we have huge celebrations for Christmas when we should really be celebrating the Annunciation with huge celebrations.
One problem is that the Annunciation would certainly fall during Lent. Hard to have a Christmas-like celebration in the middle of Lent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
It's just been confusing me lately.
No worries, its good to ask questions and want to learn.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Oct 11, '11, 2:32 pm
promethius's Avatar
promethius promethius is offline
Regular Member
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Posts: 2,471
Religion: Catholic of the Latin Rite
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
Why do we celebrate Christmas when life begins at conception?

Basically, why do we have huge celebrations for Christmas when we should really be celebrating the Annunciation with huge celebrations.

It's just been confusing me lately.
Um... they are both feast days. You *choose* to add things like a tree and gifts to one and not the other. I guess what I'm getting at is that only YOU can answer this question as regards your personal practice...
__________________
For those of you from the old greenspun forum ~paul h
Tiber Swim Team
class of 1990
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Oct 11, '11, 3:02 pm
You You is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 28, 2011
Posts: 1,104
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
Why do we celebrate Christmas when life begins at conception?

Basically, why do we have huge celebrations for Christmas when we should really be celebrating the Annunciation with huge celebrations.

It's just been confusing me lately.
Did somebody mention my name?
I think feast days and Christ Mass day were marked by a Mass, and that was the celebration. So the Annunciation and Christ Mass both receive equally a Mass. shock!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Oct 11, '11, 3:05 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Posts: 37,470
Religion: Catholic no adjectives
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
Why Basically, why do we have huge celebrations for Christmas when we should really be celebrating the Annunciation with huge celebrations.

It's just been confusing me lately.
we do celebrate the Annunciation of the Lord it is a holy day of obligation. The hooplah surrounding Christmas is largely cultural and secular, not religious, the celebration of both holy days is the same, Mass, and it doesn't get any better or bigger than that.
__________________
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Oct 11, '11, 3:40 pm
Elizium23's Avatar
Elizium23 Elizium23 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 5,654
Religion: Practicing Catholic
Send a message via AIM to Elizium23
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
we do celebrate the Annunciation of the Lord it is a holy day of obligation. The hooplah surrounding Christmas is largely cultural and secular, not religious, the celebration of both holy days is the same, Mass, and it doesn't get any better or bigger than that.
Christmas is certainly different from the Annunciation in terms of level of celebration! Come on! There is a four-week season of preparation for Christmas called "Advent". There is a special liturgy for Christmas Eve. There are, what, two special, distinct liturgies for Christmas Day: Mass at Dawn, Mass During the Day. Christmas is a Holy Day of Obligation. For eight days we celebrate the Octave of Christmas - in the present-day calendar, only the Octave of Easter and the Octave of Christmas survive as true octaves. Then we continue to celebrate the season of Christmas until Epiphany and Baptism of the Lord. No, the Christmas holiday is clearly superior to the Annunciation from a liturgical and theological point of view.

And I would say that this just mirrors human custom. It is not the done thing to celebrate someone's conception. A birthday celebration acknowledges the arrival of a child and the hardships and dangers of labor and childbirth. While it is true that life begins at conception, life as an autonomous human being begins on the day of birth, and we recognize that by celebrating Christ's incarnation on that day.
__________________
íViva Cristo Rey!
"A man who is well grounded in the testimonies of the Scripture is the bulwark of the Church." -- Saint Jerome
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Oct 11, '11, 4:06 pm
Joan1969's Avatar
Joan1969 Joan1969 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 21, 2004
Posts: 476
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Hi to all,

I'm coming in on the side of Elizum. The scandal of abortion has caused us to somewhat understate the importance of birth, but this is the point where a human being enters society in a big way. Prior to that, there is a human being for sure, with full human dignity, but his personality is largely inaccessible to us. We can't enjoy the baby in the same way as after birth (I'm saying that as a mother who's expecting a child).

We don't give unborn children legal names or property rights, and I'm okay with that because unborn life is quite different from born life, even though human life at each stage is equally valuable.

So the bottom line is that we are not wrong to give Christmas greater attention than the Annunciation. This is the point where Jesus was presented to the human race in a way that He could be adored by all the people- so we do precisely that. Venite adoremus!

God Bless,
Joan
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Oct 12, '11, 5:04 am
Swiss Guy's Avatar
Swiss Guy Swiss Guy is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: May 14, 2011
Posts: 4,000
Religion: Christian in the Holy Catholic Church
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Keep the responses coming!

To all: I understand that there is a feast for the Annunciation. I was just wondering why there is much more celebration for Christmas than the Annunciation.

So from the people who have responded above, I've concluded that:

we celebrate Christmas more because Christ became an autonomous human being, so at that time people could enjoy him more and worship him directly. We also celebrate that Christ made it into the world alive and well, and not "dead" (if you understand me here ).

Plus, I think the Bible shows that heaven was more joyful on Christmas than during the Annunciation. And I probably should've read the beginning of Matthew and Luke before I posted for more clarification.


Thanks.
__________________



Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Oct 12, '11, 5:32 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2004
Posts: 37,470
Religion: Catholic no adjectives
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizium23 View Post
Christmas is certainly different from the Annunciation in terms of level of celebration! Come on! There is a four-week season of preparation for Christmas called "Advent". There is a special liturgy for Christmas Eve. There are, what, two special, distinct liturgies for Christmas Day: Mass at Dawn, Mass During the Day. Christmas is a Holy Day of Obligation. For eight days we celebrate the Octave of Christmas - in the present-day calendar, only the Octave of Easter and the Octave of Christmas survive as true octaves. Then we continue to celebrate the season of Christmas until Epiphany and Baptism of the Lord. No, the Christmas holiday is clearly superior to the Annunciation from a liturgical and theological point of view.

.
yes to all of that, but you are asking why is Christmas the major feast comparatively. What are we celebrating? The revelation of Christ in his coming to the whole world, which is why Epiphany is part of the season also. The Annunciation was the private event, the Nativity is the public event in which the revelation is complete and completes the event inititated at the Annunciation. You are trying to separate the two by comparing them, which cannot be done, they have to be taken in concert--as we do in praying the Joyful Mysteries and meditating on these events.
__________________
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Oct 12, '11, 10:59 am
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: August 5, 2010
Posts: 17,409
Religion: ☦ Orthodox Christian ☦
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
Keep the responses coming!

To all: I understand that there is a feast for the Annunciation. I was just wondering why there is much more celebration for Christmas than the Annunciation.

So from the people who have responded above, I've concluded that:

we celebrate Christmas more because Christ became an autonomous human being, so at that time people could enjoy him more and worship him directly. We also celebrate that Christ made it into the world alive and well, and not "dead" (if you understand me here ).

Plus, I think the Bible shows that heaven was more joyful on Christmas than during the Annunciation. And I probably should've read the beginning of Matthew and Luke before I posted for more clarification.


Thanks.
I think if you take away the secular celebration surrounding Christmas, you'll see there's as much celebration within the Church. And again one difficulty in having a more festive atmosphere for Annunciation is the fact that it would happen sometime during Lent. So the focus around is more of fasting (although fasting is suspended for Annunciation Day, unless its on Good Friday which sometimes happens).

In the Byzantine Rite, the Annunciation is one of the 12 Great Feasts, so its of equal rank to Christmas (only Easter is higher, its the Feast of Feasts). And its common to have it icon of the Annunciation on the Royal Doors because we believe that its the "gateway" event. If not for the Annunciation, nothing else we celebrate or believe in today would have happened.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Oct 12, '11, 11:22 am
Prague Prague is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: October 3, 2006
Posts: 1,450
Religion: 100% Catholic Christian (Latin Rite)
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Well,my family celebrates my birth by having a birthday party.
Why isn't it ok to have a birthday party for Jesus!
That is how my granddaughter refers to Christmas.

Anyway, just my simple thought on the subject.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Oct 12, '11, 2:45 pm
Swiss Guy's Avatar
Swiss Guy Swiss Guy is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: May 14, 2011
Posts: 4,000
Religion: Christian in the Holy Catholic Church
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConstantineTG View Post
I think if you take away the secular celebration surrounding Christmas, you'll see there's as much celebration within the Church. And again one difficulty in having a more festive atmosphere for Annunciation is the fact that it would happen sometime during Lent. So the focus around is more of fasting (although fasting is suspended for Annunciation Day, unless its on Good Friday which sometimes happens).
There isn't nearly as much celebration in the Church imho. Christmas has Advent, Christmas itself, and Epiphany. But I suppose Lent can't help the Annunciation's cause.

Quote:

In the Byzantine Rite, the Annunciation is one of the 12 Great Feasts, so its of equal rank to Christmas (only Easter is higher, its the Feast of Feasts). And its common to have it icon of the Annunciation on the Royal Doors because we believe that its the "gateway" event. If not for the Annunciation, nothing else we celebrate or believe in today would have happened.
Very true (to the last part).
__________________



Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Oct 12, '11, 2:49 pm
Swiss Guy's Avatar
Swiss Guy Swiss Guy is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: May 14, 2011
Posts: 4,000
Religion: Christian in the Holy Catholic Church
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
yes to all of that, but you are asking why is Christmas the major feast comparatively. What are we celebrating? The revelation of Christ in his coming to the whole world, which is why Epiphany is part of the season also. The Annunciation was the private event, the Nativity is the public event in which the revelation is complete and completes the event inititated at the Annunciation. You are trying to separate the two by comparing them, which cannot be done, they have to be taken in concert--as we do in praying the Joyful Mysteries and meditating on these events.
That makes sense: Annunciation is private, so the public (secular and Church) doesn't celebrate as much; Christmas is public - all of us can experience Christ personally because of it (the Annunciation was more of a private experience for Mary, not everyone) - so we celebrate more.

thanks.
__________________



Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Oct 12, '11, 5:53 pm
po18guy's Avatar
po18guy po18guy is offline
Forum Elder
Prayer Warrior
Radio Club Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2007
Posts: 23,772
Religion: One. Holy. Catholic. Apostolic.
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Guy View Post
Keep the responses coming!

To all: I understand that there is a feast for the Annunciation. I was just wondering why there is much more celebration for Christmas than the Annunciation.

So from the people who have responded above, I've concluded that:

we celebrate Christmas more because Christ became an autonomous human being, so at that time people could enjoy him more and worship him directly. We also celebrate that Christ made it into the world alive and well, and not "dead" (if you understand me here ).

Plus, I think the Bible shows that heaven was more joyful on Christmas than during the Annunciation. And I probably should've read the beginning of Matthew and Luke before I posted for more clarification.


Thanks.
Christmas is simply the date when the Word made flesh was able to be held in the arms, such as Simeon the prophet did at the presentation. As well, the angel announced to the shepherds that it was a momentous day in all of history. Such an announcement could not have been made to the shepherds at the annunciation. Remember that the shepherds understood what the angel had said only when the beheld the Christ child. If you are in RCIA, then you may already understand that Catholics, through their veneration of Mary, and by praying the Holy Rosary, celebrate the annunciation perpetually.

Another take: the only birthday celebrated in scripture was Herod's. Since Christianity has a proven record of transforming pagan symbols and celebrations into the Holy (i.e. the cross as the universal sign of death into the universal sign of eternal life), what better birthday to celebrate than Christ's birth? Herod's birthday is nothing to celebrate, and has been long forgotten, but our Lord's birthday will be remembered until the end of the age. Jesus' birth was so important, that Herod killed all Jewish male children up to the age of two in Bethlehem in his failed attempt to destroy Jesus. In a way, it is also a memorial of the first martyrs, innocents who were slain in the place of Jesus.
__________________
"He was the first one in the world to break all of the commandments at once"
- Bishop Fulton Sheen referencing Moses throwing the stone tablets -
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Oct 13, '11, 5:30 am
Cirdan XII Cirdan XII is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2010
Posts: 409
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
we do celebrate the Annunciation of the Lord it is a holy day of obligation. The hooplah surrounding Christmas is largely cultural and secular, not religious, the celebration of both holy days is the same, Mass, and it doesn't get any better or bigger than that.
well it does, because at Christmas we have Midnight Mass, we have advent as a period of preparation and a whole cycle of gospel readings that go on for several days after Christmas continuing at least to Epiphany. We have a vast repetoire of songs and music specific to Christmas. The list goes on. You can't really say that is the same as Annunciation.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8244Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: janiejnb
5009CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: James_OPL
4342Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: James_OPL
4029OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: B79
3830SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3561Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: James_OPL
3221Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3203Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: memphian
3108Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3045For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: flower lady



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:57 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.