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Author Topic: Christmas on 7th or 8th?  (Read 1249 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonathan
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« on: January 08, 2004, 10:16:48 AM »

Today (Jan Cool is the 29 of Kiahk, which means it's Christmas by the Coptic Calendar.  We celebrated Christmas yesterday though, on the 28 so that people wouldn't be confused by Christmas being on the 8th instead of the 7th, which happened because it's a leap year so the calendar is an extra day out of synch until the Gregorian has it's extra day.  It also means that we were a day out of synch with the Julian calendar (I think).  So I was wondering, what calendar do other OO Churches use?  I think the British use the Gregorian, do any use the Julian?  Do any others use the Coptic?  If so which day was actually used for the feast?  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2004, 02:15:11 AM »

Epiphany an alternative to Christmas
STEVE GUSHEE
Cox News Service
Saturday, January 3rd, 2004
 
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The feast of the Epiphany might be a positive alternative to the chaos and confusion of our overwhelmingly secular Christmas.

 The church could abandon Dec. 25 to the winter holiday it has become and celebrate the birth of Jesus on Jan. 6, Tuesday this year.

The Armenians have done that since the 4th century. The Armenian Orthodox Church, however, has its own holiday complications.

 As it stands now, the feast of the Epiphany officially closes the 12-day Christmas season in western Christianity, even as it welcomes the three wise men who come to worship the child born in Bethlehem.

Those three Magi have more recently morphed into completely non-biblical Kings. Three Kings Day has become a hugely popular holiday among Hispanic Christians.
 
Using the Epiphany to highlight the biblical Magi is itself an innovation. Originally, the Epiphany (a Greek word that means manifestation) celebrated the baptism of Jesus, that event in which God made Jesus known as his chosen agent.

The early church was more concerned to identify Jesus' vocation than to trumpet his birth. His baptism by John at about age 30 was a powerful biblical story that launched his public ministry.

That extraordinary event was comparable to Easter and the coming of the Holy Spirit in the early church. Accordingly, the Epiphany joined Easter and Pentecost as the three most important feasts in the church year.

Christmas on Dec. 25 was a relative latecomer to the church's calendar and became widely known only by the late 4th century.

 Armenian Christians may have done it right. That tradition, among the very earliest Christian communities, refused to adopt Dec. 25 as a celebration of the birth of Jesus. The date was not biblical. No one knows when he was born. So, the Armenians simply tacked Christmas onto the Epiphany and celebrated both on Jan 6.

As such, Armenian Christians don't get caught up in the holiday madness that proceeds and denigrates the more solemn possibilities of Dec. 25 as a sacred day.

Still, Armenians have their problems. In Jerusalem, the church follows the old Julian calendar. That ancient dating is about 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar in use today. Therefore, Armenian Christmas in the holy land is actually Jan. 19.

In the best of all worlds, Christian groups might one day settle for a singe date to celebrate Jesus' birth and baptism.

Jan. 6 has ancient credentials to claim the honor.

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"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
SamB
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2004, 11:15:31 AM »

One cannot possibly complain about four Christmases a year.

The situation reminds me of Lebanon, with its plethora of religious factions.  This can only mean countless holidays and commemorations throughout the year, from Orthodox Easter to Catholic Easter to 'Aashoorah (for the Shi'ites), to Adha, and more.  Lazy students learn to delight in that unique kind of luxury.

In IC XC
Samer
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Tags: nativity calendar Coptic Orthodox Church Armenian Church 
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