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  #1  
Old Dec 7, '11, 9:09 am
rambino rambino is offline
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Join Date: April 21, 2011
Posts: 3
Default Christmas Quiz Game!

What is the meaning and purpose of Advent?



What do faith filled Catholics do during Advent?



Who banned Christmas in England between 1647 and 1660?



How long is the Christmas season?



What did the word Christmas mean when it was first recorded?



Who is St. Nicholas?



Who is Santa Claus?



What are the gifts and of the Magi and what is their meaning?



What saints does the Church remember on December 28



Why is January 1. a holy day of Obligation?
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  #2  
Old Dec 7, '11, 11:22 am
SMOM's Avatar
SMOM SMOM is offline
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Posts: 1,986
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Christmas Quiz Game!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambino View Post
What is the meaning and purpose of Advent?

It means "coming" and it is a time to prepare for the "coming" through penitence, specifically prayer, fasting and almsgiving

What do faith filled Catholics do during Advent?

See above

Who banned Christmas in England between 1647 and 1660?


Oliver Crom "not so" well

How long is the Christmas season?

12 days

What did the word Christmas mean when it was first recorded?

Christ's Mass or "missa"

Who is St. Nicholas?

4TH century bishop of Myra, (now part of Turkey)


Who is Santa Claus?

In America he is a composite figure of St. Nick, the European "Father Christmas" and the Dutch "Sinterklaas"

What are the gifts and of the Magi and what is their meaning?

Gold, Frankincense and myrrh. Symbolism is subject to dispute. Most comonly it is said that the three gifts had a spiritual meaning : gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense as a symbol of priestship, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death

What saints does the Church remember on December 28


The "holy innocents"

Why is January 1. a holy day of Obligation?
It is the solemnity of Mary, the mother of God
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Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum
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  #3  
Old Dec 7, '11, 1:07 pm
jimrob jimrob is offline
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Posts: 387
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Default Re: Christmas Quiz Game!

Just to spoil the party, here are some more:

Where does it say in the Bible that Jesus was born in a stable?

Where does it say there were three wise men?

Why do we celebrate Jesus's birthday on 25th December?
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  #4  
Old Dec 8, '11, 7:30 am
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SMOM SMOM is offline
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Default Re: Christmas Quiz Game!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrob View Post
Just to spoil the party, here are some more:

Where does it say in the Bible that Jesus was born in a stable?

It doesn't. It says "manger" and people assumed a manger (feeding trough) would be in a barn or stable. However, it may have actually been in the lower floor of the "inn" as it was common to keep animals on the first floor indoors in those days.

Where does it say there were three wise men?

It doesn't. It says the magi (assumed to be wise) brought 3 gifts, so it was assumed there were three of them.

Why do we celebrate Jesus's birthday on 25th December?
In dispute and unclear.

Not until the fourth century do we find references to two dates that were widely recognized—and now also celebrated—as Jesus’ birthday: December 25 in the western Roman Empire and January 6 in the East (especially in Egypt and Asia Minor). The modern Armenian church continues to celebrate Christmas on January 6; for most Christians, however, December 25 would prevail, while January 6 eventually came to be known as the Feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem. The period between became the holiday season later known as the 12 days of Christmas.
The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”In about 400 C.E., In the East, January 6 was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.

So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in midwinter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25 and January 6?
There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient).

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.

Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.
It’s not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts. A marginal note on a manuscript of the writings of the Syriac biblical commentator Dionysius bar-Salibi states that in ancient times the Christmas holiday was actually shifted from January 6 to December 25 so that it fell on the same date as the pagan Sol Invictus holiday.
.
However, as many scholars recognize. Most significantly, the first mention of a date for Christmas (c. 200) and the earliest celebrations that we know about (c. 250–300) come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character.


The December 25 feast seems to have existed before 312—before Constantine and his conversion, at least. As we have seen, the Donatist Christians in North Africa seem to have know it from before that time. Furthermore, in the mid- to late fourth century, church leaders in the eastern Empire concerned themselves not with introducing a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, but with the addition of the December date to their traditional celebration on January 6.

There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover. This view was first suggested to the modern world by French scholar Louis Duchesne in the early 20th century and fully developed by American Thomas Talley in more recent years. But they were certainly not the first to note a connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.

Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus died was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar.March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception. Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.

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  #5  
Old Dec 8, '11, 7:55 am
jimrob jimrob is offline
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Default Re: Christmas Quiz Game!

Quite right. The Greek word in Luke translated as manger is very specific. It means a folding stand for hay that might be found in an inn or might be carried by someone travelling with a camel or a donkey. The word "inn" brings to mind a cross between a 4 star hotel and a mediaeval tavern. In 1st century Judaea, it would have been more of a caravanserai - a secure area where you tethered your animals and pitched your tent. The wealthy might rent a room in the innkeeper's house (cf the parable of the good Samaritan), but the innkeeper didn't have a room to spare. (The English expression "no room" meaning full actually comes from the KJV of this account). The first recorded crib scene with the Holy Child in a manger surrounded by animals was put together by St Francis of Assisi - who just happened to have been born in a stable.

We assume 3 magi because there were 3 gifts. Subsequent elaboration of the story equates them with the Psalm reference to Kings of Sheba, Saba and Ophir and gave them names. Matthew's account suggests they were Zoroastrian priests from Persia. Cologne cathedral claims to have their bones although Ghent Cathedral claims to have their thumbs.

Birthdays were a Roman idea. Greeks and Jews didn't celebrate birthdays - and many still don't. When Christianity became the Roman state religion following the Edict of Milan, Jesus had to be allocated a birthday. From the earliest times, the Church used to celebrate the revelation of Christ to the world on what we now call 6th January. Originally the celebration was of his baptism - and it may well have been the actual celebration. St Paul introduced the feast of the Annunciation on 24th March to replace a pagan fertility festival celebrated at the temple of Artemis in Ephesus. It seemed convenient to give Jesus a birthday 9 months and a day after that. Our previous Pope told us that it was sheer coincidence that it was one day after the Roman pagan celebration of the birthday of Sol Invicta.

So we don't know the day, we don't know how many magi, they certainly weren't kings and there was no stable: bah, humbug! What's important to us is that we celebrate the gift of Jesus to the world on a particular day and that we read the Gospel no matter how we decorate the church. A happy and holy Christmas everyone.
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  #6  
Old Dec 10, '11, 6:42 am
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prbarrera prbarrera is offline
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Default Re: Christmas Quiz Game!

Some answers...

What is the meaning and purpose of Advent?
If I remember right, Advent means Adventus, which means Coming.

It is a spiritual preparation on welcoming the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, God who became man, born of the Virgin Mary.

Who is St. Nicholas?
St. Nicholas is the Bishop of Myra. His memorial is every December 6.

Who is Santa Claus?
Santa Claus, is often associated to St. Nicholas, as he gives gifts. Eventually, Santa Claus became the commercial version of St. Nicholas, used in stores, gift shops, etc.

What are the gifts and of the Magi and what is their meaning?
Gold - which means that Jesus is king
Myrrh - which means Jesus is man
Frankincense - which means Jesus is God (the prayers are lifted to the Lord, like the smoke of frankincense lifting up high)

What saints does the Church remember on December 28?
We remember the Holy Innocents, the slaughter of infants by King Herod the Great, which prompted the Holy Family to flee to Egypt.

Why is January 1. a holy day of Obligation?
Besides the civil year of New Year's Day, in the liturgical calendar of the Church, January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God and Day of World Peace.
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  #7  
Old Dec 10, '11, 7:33 am
jimrob jimrob is offline
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Default Re: Christmas Quiz Game!

There's not enough space here, but you'll find more about Christmas Day and Father Christmas on my blog at http://oldknowall.blogspot.com/
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