Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
December 17, 1927     Arkansas Catholic
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December 17, 1927
 

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Page Twenty 'I4HE GUARDIAN, DECEMBER 17, 1927 ....... : : .:-: +q-b+: " >: = : ~ _-~lexperiment of askingafewnon-Cath- are large enough to react against spell between Whitsun an,l Christ-[of the world and hav~ us ....... ~ olics the meaning of the word Christ- it. mas [mercy. Why? Dickens got l "I" ..................... " .................................4" i l mas you might expect some curious It is part of the pagan plot to leave The strange and pathetic thing I tbe heart of it. "It is good to -I* l i -~-] answers. The two syllables are the Mass out of Christmas and it about the modern forgetfulness of ]dren sometimes," he says i .... . .~ ~ :~[pronounced differently when they should be part of the Catholic court- the significance of Christmas is I Christmas Carol," "and never i Keeo The Mass m Christmas i ~_1are placed together; they are glossed terpart to keep it in.the fact thaz so many old and sym-lthan at Christmas,. when i~ 3: l it i II over. just as the feast itself is large y Church Originated Holidays belie forms haye .been preserved Founder was a Child HimS~ ~ By George Barnard, i ~l glossed over. In England today every public whilst their meanings h~ive been for- -Custom of Making Pr~ ]: (Written for N.C. W. C. News Service Christmas . I| ............. I The custom of making $ | ~ , . ] li Auatyzzng the wora .--nrlstmas holiday, except one, is a day of Chris- gotten. = ,~uppm ment) t , . . tian significance. Not that it is a [ ~ :~] It must be a httle embarrassing to Babbitt will tell you, "Christmas was inspired bv the gifts of ] .... ~ :~] the Protestant to analyze the word, virtue to have Christian feasts if we is the Kiddies' day." Thanksgiving men. In some places it is ~. ....................................................* $] because it brings him up against the t :~! great fact of the Mass, which his par- fail to keep them or even to keep is as much a home day in America custom for children to take + .............................. ................ them and ignore Christian fasts, as is Christmas. But it is at Christ- I lay them at the feet of :,:,-,=,-l-i-.. ....... ~ ,, ,-, ... I : .......... , ..........-.-, . . l sons may have taught him to regard These holidays remind us when we mas that the children hold the reins J (Continued on page I sometimes wonder what passes through the mind of the average Protestan~ when he sees the word Christmas, or when his family remind him (not perhaps disinterestedly) that Christmas will soon be here, or when he sees the store windows be- ing freshly loaded with what are de- scribed as "Xmas Gifts." Perhaps the general use of the word "Xmas" snupplies the answer, the X representing the unknown quantity. I think the average Ameri- can Protestant has but the haziest idea of the significance of the feast, and no idea at all as to the meaning of the word used to indicate it. Cert:ain customs cluster around recurring holidays and there is al- ways a danger that the customs will cling and their origin be forgotten. Thanksgiving has become a home day. The percentage of Americans who actually dedicate the day to a raising up of the mind in thanks- giving for the year's graces is pos- sibly very small. I spent several happy Independence D~,ys in the United States and found very little insistence upon the significance of the event, among a contented people who were glad enough to rest for a few hottrs from their normal labors. The annual armistice silence is of too short duration to be wrenched from its original inspiration. If there ~m were a national holiday for the corn- , incineration of the armistice the next generation would give little thought to its meaning Those things matter little, but it is very/important that a Christian na- tion should keep in mind the mean- ing of Christmas, more esoecially when that feast is the only Christ- ian feast which occurs in that na- tion's t~alendar. Commercializing of Christmas Unfortunately Christmas has been very largely captured by commerce, which, having no soul, has turned the feast into a commercial opportunity, just as it popularized "Mother's Day" as a commercial opportunity. And on the whole I think there is more sentiment and feeling behind Mother's Day in Protestant America than t~here is behind the celebration of Christmas, because Mother's Day is something that a non-religious mind can understand, whereas Christ- mas Day calls for an act of faith which many Protestants arc unable to make. Any normal man Ss glad of a holiday and an excuse for a celebra- tion. I, an Englishman, enjoyed In- dependence Day in America with as little feeling as my American friends jli~ilnlilt!llI!$111111nlllllnlliIlU~llIillililUlllilnlllilll]]llNlll!llllllllI ~, INSURANCE AGENCY INSURANCE AND BONDS GREGG BUILDING JONESBORO, ARKANSAS llli,lnllr, llllltllPmllllinHtllnmHl~.~lltllllnnntttlltf~NIIIlilnttlilllll!!lmmlIIIl and would have welcomed a repeti- tion once a month. It would have been an excuse for a holiday. Just as an excuse for a holiday many Protestants regard Christmas. My Jewish friends send me Christmas cards'nowadays, though I never care to hurt their feelings by returning the compliment. It is true there is no Christian sentiment on the card, but there is hardly ever any Chris- tian sentiment on the modern Christ- mas card which is additional evid- ence of the decay of the real Christ- mas spirit. To Protestants the word Christmas must be nearly meaningless. They nmst accept i~ as an arbitrary label for a holiday just as I accept Schnec- tady as the arbitrary label for a city. Some few persons in America .might know the inwardness of the naming. I do not: until this moment I had accepted the proud title of Schnec- tady without question as a thing that had always been, I don't know why an orange is called an orange; or why a grapefruit is called by that name. These things could be ascer- tained if one were interested, but it is one of the weaknesses of our make up that we accept the good things of life without asking why and whence. If you were to try the interesting as a superstitious practice. At odd times there have been at- tempts to take the Mass out of Christmas. There was the famous occasion in the British House of Com- mons when a Thomas Massey argued that the word had too Popish a fla- vor. Let it be called Christ-tide, he said. His eloquence won his proposal a certain amount of sttpport, but at the end of his pleading one of those old Irish national stalwarts rose and suggested .humorously that as a be- ginning Thomas Massey might alter his own name to Thotide Tidey. Though the centuries-old name persists there is very little evidence outside the Catholic Church of the observance of Christmas as the feast of Christ, much less as the Mass of Christ. The day is preceded by an orgy of shopping. There is feasting and fun, often in hotels nowadays. But no sort of reference to the enormous historical event which changed the face of the earth and which occasion- ed these preverted celebrations. Catholics in the United States live in the midst of this spirit of reli- gious indifference and forgetfulness in the minority of about one to five. They are few enough to be carried away by the pagan tide. But they -1 Progressive Utilities Make Towns Cities Encourage Them FORT SMITH LIGHT & TRACTION R. C. COFFY, General Manager Courteous Personal Attention to Every Customer stop to think of them (very few peo- ple do stop to think of them) that it was the Church that gave holidays to the workman and spared him from perpetual toil. Christmas Day and the day after are public holidays in England. ~So are Good Friday the Monday following Easter Sunday, in celebration of the feast. And the Monday following V~hit Sunday. It was the Church of course, that sanc- tified Sunday and bade the laborer rest from his toil. Good Friday, too, is a national holiday in England. The only non-religious holiday in England is the first Monday in Au- gust, chosen arbintrarily to break the Compliments of Exchange Bank and Trust Company EL DORADO, ARK. Compliments of COCA COLA BOTTLING CO. CAMDEN, ARK. WEAR OVERALLS. BERRY DRY GOODS CO. FORT SMITH, ARK. Henry Bollinger Music-Radio Brunswick Phonographs and Records Freed Eisemann Radio Sets We Carry Everything in Music Fifth Street and Garrison Ave. FORT SMITH, Compliments of SAINT SCHOLASTICA'S ACADEMY Compliments of I]]t l 1 I 1' FORT SMITH / AUTOMOTIVE Illl/ Compliments of the WARD FURNITURE Delicious Refreshing MANUFACTURING COMPANY THE COCA-COLA BOTTLING CO. Fort Smith, Ark. FOR INFORMATION SEE DIRECTRESS lii ell m / STAR BAKERY 'WHITE STAR BREAD Compliments of ,and Fancy Pastry Party Cakes a Specialty Phone 694 222 South Main St. JONESBORO, ARK. R. C. ROSE, Pres. C. L. MOORE Jr.. Cashier R. E. FLETCHER, Vice-Pres. CITIZENS BANK OF OSCEOLA Capital and Surplus $ 00,000.00 FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS SAINT BONIFACE CHURCH AND SCHOOL Father Peter Post, O. S. B., Pastor 200 North Eighteenth Street FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS SERVICES Mass 7:30 and 10 a. m. Benediction 3 p. m.