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Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan

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Published: 1912
Language: English
Wordcount: 115,121 / 365 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 41.1
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 1,811
Added to site: 2006.08.22
mnybks.net#: 14692
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Religion
Excerpt

, the subjective aspect of the matter would come increasingly into prominence, until in the festivals of the Christian Church the main object is to quicken the devotion of the believer by contemplation of the mysteries of the faith. Yet attached, as we shall see, to many Christian festivals, are old notions of magical sanctity, probably quite as potent in the minds of the common people as the more spiritual ideas suggested by the Church's feasts.

In modern England we have almost lost the festival habit, but if there is one feast that survives among us as a universal tradition it is Christmas. We have indeed our Bank Holidays, but they are mere days of rest and amusement, and for the mass of the people Easter and Whitsuntide have small religious significance--Christmas alone has the character of sanctity which marks the true festival. The celebration of Christmas has often little or nothing to do with orthodox dogma, yet somehow the sense of obligation to keep the feast is very strong, and there are few

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