Why do Christians celebrate Christmas more than Easter, which is the most important feast day in the liturgical year?
I’m confused by your statement. Could you tell us why you think Christians celebrate Christmas “more than Easter?” Which Christians? In what way?
Because as a Catholic, quite frankly, I think it is absolutely undeniable that we celebrate EASTER as the summit of the liturgical year. We even refer to each Sunday as "a little Easter’ (not, you will note, "a little Christmas’.) Not to diss down Christmas of course but the focus in Catholic liturgy is definitely “Easter-centered” and not “Christmas-centered.”
Christmas just seems more celebrated because of the commercialism behind it
Because Santa is more fun than the Easter Bunny!
On a more serious note I think people would rather celebrate a cute little baby being born than a thirty year old man being beaten half to death and then nailed to a cross and then rising from the dead. I also think people have an easier time believing that a baby was born than a man rose from the dead. These two things lead to nominal christians preferring Christmas to Easter. The church definitely promotes Easter as the high point on the liturgical calendar.
In response to Tantum Ergo:
After the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, I picked up a flyer on Easter Sunday Mass Schedule at the Catholic Church where I attend Mass regularly. On it, the pastor started his letter to the parishioners saying, “Although Christmas is the most celebrated Christian Feast Day, Easter is by far the most important! Jesus came into the world to die for our sins …”
I do not disagree with the pastor’s statement at all. I believe that the history behind our Easter celebration is much bigger, more profound, with Jesus dying on the cross and rising on the third day, as prophesied, to redeem us. However, in thinking more about the pastor’s introductory comment, it seems that Christians, or Catholics, at least, do make a big deal of Christmas more than Easter. Perhaps it’s because Christmas is (more) associated with gift giving, especially with families with children?
Also, and maybe it’s just my experience, but I find the church is more crammed at Christmas Holy Day than on Easter Sunday.
There may be truth in that Christmas is more popular because of the consumerism behind it. Or, the consumerism that it sadly led to.
And as Elsport1 pointed out, it’s easier to wrap one’s mind around a cute baby being born versus a grown man being nailed to the cross, dying, and rising from the dead.
Every Sunday is the Lord’s Day, in which we celebrate the resurrection. To me it is like many little Easters. So it is hard for me to feel the resurrection gets shortchanged. I guess Christmas feels a little different, because we celebrate that God became man. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. I like celebrating the Incarnation. The annunciation is really one of my favorite mysteries of the rosary, because it reminds me of how the child would be the Son of God.
i think what he means by being more celebrated in terms of the attention the general public gives to it
there are Christmas dinners, there is no Easter dinner
there are Christmas gifts, in Easter you just get colored eggs
Christmas is a purely joyous event. Easter, while joyous, is preceded by Lent which is a lot of fasting and abstinence and self examination and sorrow and mourning
Christmas has carols, both religious and secular. there’s hardly any non-religious singing during Easter
i think thats what you’re priest means
An intellectual exercise I’ve been wrestling with. If anyone wants to explore it, please keep in mind I’m in no way thinking that Easter isn’t huge- I’m faithful to our teachings of the church. You don’t have to convince me that Easter is the bigger deal.
Which is a bigger deal for God? The fact that God can conquer death? or the fact that the almighty creator of heaven and earth humbled himself to become human?
To me, and remember, just as a mental exercise, its easier to grasp that God, who created the rules of life to overcome death than it is to grasp how humble He had to be to become human in the first place. The reason being is because we have no concept of how almighty and great he is.
I’m probably not making sense…oh well.
No, agapewolf, your train of thought is quite understandable. The extent of God’s love is held in greater relief in the incarnation than in some of the other mysteries, for me. But I think this is us responding to the mysteries. How God thinks about them, I don’t know.
Personally I find the secular side of Easter every bit as commercialized as Christmas.
Perhaps the religious slogan found on many Church lawns during Advent Keep Christ In Christmas might repeat itself during Lent Keep Christ In Easter.
Should one expect any less in this increasing God-less Age?
Was it not Jesus who said; When I return will I find Faith?
agapewolf, thanks to the insight you provided. Indeed, we have no concept of how almighty and great God is.
It is astounding that our Lord humbled Himself to become human. What He went through, the suffering, humiliation and death as though He were a common criminal, to redeem us, is equally if not more astounding. For the Jews and for many of His disciples then, it was hard to connect such humiliation with glory, divinity and triumph.
But our faith as Christians gives us the important message of Easter: we have to suffer pain and death to enter into glory of eternal life. This is the essence of this holiest of days!
The beauty and splendor of Easter Sunday Mass this morning brought me to tears …
By the way, I take back what I said earlier: the church was overflowing just as it was on Christmas Day. I don’t think the faithful missed the message at all.
What REALLY scares me is that Halloween is on it’s way to being bigger than both of them. They are selling more big money out door decorations, do-dads, and party stuff in just the last couple of years than in 50 years. In many areas, more houses decorated with lights and stuff for Halloween than for Christmas.
Hmmm, now that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it … How about, Face East In Easter? :signofcross:
Not to quibble, but “there is no Easter dinner?”
You should have seen the Easter spread my mother in law put on yesterday!
Yes, but unless you are a chorister singing at multiple Masses, you are probably attending only one Mass on each, correct? What about the attendance at all of the other Masses added up?
As for the commercialism, that is not a minor point about which “there may be truth.” That is THE POINT. Entire industries, including many retail comglomerates, make literally half of their annual income from the Christmas season, which now begins in October. And it spreads across many, if not most, industries, because Christmas is the only day in the West where most people give and/or receive multiple presents, some of them quite expensive. Families give scores of presents, representing a cash bonanza, and not only toys for kids. Most of us, when we compare the amounts of Christmas presents given nowadays–even during the current serious recession–with what we grew up with, and especially with what our parents and grandparents grew up with, see a major increase in the number and value of Christmas presents, making the commercialism even more apparent.
If Christmas gift-giving ceased in this country, many business would cease to exist. If Easter were not celebrated as it is, the candy industry would be seriously hurt, but that would be about it. Even they would still have Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day on which to focus–all of which have grown in recent years, along with St. Patrick’s Day, because of increased commercialism. The poultry industry would feel a little pain, too, but eggs are such a staple of everyday life that the industry would be in no danger of going under. But when Christmas sales go down, especially for a few years in a row, many companies buckle under the strain. Then there are Christmas decorations, music, food, and sooooooo many other commercial interests.
Catholics (and I am including the Orthodox in these observations), IMHO, do a better job at celebrating Easter than most other Christians, because of the great emphasis on Lent and Holy Week rites. Christmas and Easter are both seasons, but Easter lasts all the way through Pentecost, and the ceremonies and devotions of Palm Sunday and the Easter Triduum are central. Anglicans and some of the more liturgically-minded Protestants have adopted many of these ceremonies, but none observe these as consistently and on such a large scale as do Catholics. So the Protestant history of this country is also a factor in the appearance of Christmas being bigger than Easter, but commercialism is at the root.
here is something, and an honest question
what should be more important to us, Good Friday or Easter Sunday?
when Christ died on the cross, he saved us from our sins
its incomplete if He just died. its equally important that He resurrected
i would say both are just as important. Jesus died for our sins, but in rising He also raised us all into eternal life
i’m addressing more of a general sense
can you send me some leftovers?
Christmas is more celebrated because of secularization. of course, the jolly fat man in a red suit with gifts will be more popular than the colorful bunny who only brings colored eggs
i guess it also has to do with the events. more people feel happy during Christmas because our Saviour was born. and while the Resurrection is a joyous and victorious event, it immediatly preceeds lent which is more sober, especially when you reflect on the pain and suffering and death of Christ on the cross just a couple of days earlier. plus the fact that Lent is more about abstinence and fasting, there’s less partying than Christmas
Yes, I caught your general point, and don’t disagree with it.
can you send me some leftovers?
How would you like some ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, 7-layer salad, dessert, etc. (We have a lot of mouths at the table these days.) I think I actually look forward more to the Easter feast (gastronomically speaking) than Christmas.