All the Christian Christmas traditions have got their roots attached to certain Christian symbol and meaning from the past. Therefore, the Christian Christmas celebrations and the traditions are all connected with some past beliefs.
Let us have a brief overview of some of the much talked about Christian Christmas customs.
The Tradition of Christmas Masses
Way back in history, there were three types of Christmas masses that were celebrated on this day. They are:-
- Christ Mass, that took place in mid-night
- Angel Mass, that took place at dawn
- High Mass, that took place in full daylight
The midnight mass in a unique Christian Christmas tradition, as it symbolized the celebration of the holy savior. It holds equal importance as does the chanting of “Excelsis” and “Gloria”.
The Angel Mass is mostly done to honor the Son of God and the birth of Jesus Christ. Parents however may not allow children to wake up in the wee hours of the night and attend the mass. They mid-night mass is something that is given utmost importance by the Christians.
Tradition of Christmas Tree
Most historians and scholars try to link the Christmas tree having pagan origins, but it is deeply rooted to Christian traditions. It dates back to the medieval German mystery plays. One of the most well talked about was the Paradise Play that depicted the creation of man. It had the famous Adam and Eve, and the plot narrated their expulsion from heaven. The Garden of Eden was symbolized by the fir tree which was decorated by apples and fruits. This was taken as the Tree of Life and Discernment of good and evil. The Christmas tree owes its origin from here.
Christmas tree decoration
Christmas tree decoration is an important part of every Christian family. There are several Christmas trees that are up early December and by January 2nd are on the dumpster. There are some Catholic families’ delays in decorating the tree until Christmas Eve.
Parents and senior members of the family decorate the tree with fruits, candles, bells, golden ribbons, and so on. They also give a family ornament, which is like a family heirloom to symbolize the entire family. Children take an active part in decorating the tree. They enjoy it the most especially with their grand parents.
Prayers are also said around the tree by the entire family. The blessings or the prayers can be later said on the Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. The Christmas carols too are important. Sometimes the family members sing carols after an evening prayer.
The Christmas card tradition
The Christmas card is much of a Victorian creation which was looked upon more like stationery. In the late 19th century people would send sacred poems, verses, written on these cards and send to people whom they like. Sometimes certain special Christmas messages and notes were engraved on the cards. It was a gesture of love and warmth. In modern times, we send card mostly to our friends and acquaintances.
The Christians too send our Christmas day cards and greetings to their near ones. They also have a sacred novena attached to it.
These would be some of the many Christian Christmas traditions that are still observed.
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