Friday, December 16, 2005

Cancelling Christmas

OK, I'm proud of our commenter's church, which is at least debating whether or not to hold communion on both Christmas eve and Christmas - not whether to hold services both days. And yet, it looks as if many of America's churches - most notably some very large, influential mega-churches - are closing up shop for the holiday.

How does this make any sense at all? As if Christmas falling on a Sunday made it less of a day to be in church celebrating?

According to the closing churches, they are giving people the "day off" to be with their families, where, and I swear I'm not making this up, the real celebration of Christmas takes place. Christmas, if you didn't realize, is about being around a tree (opening gifts and stuffing our faces) with family and loved ones.

Oh, shit, I thought it was about God becoming human. I must be so confused. Is that Hannukah, then?

This is one more way the Evangelical subculture has supplanted Christianity with American values. How on earth can one believe that our faith is about spending time with family rather than with God? The New Testament (the whole Bible, really) has crappy family values, people. It's not about the people who birthed us. It's about the Church.

But of course, if you only have a "personal relationship" with Jesus, why would you need a body of people to celebrate anything with?

Ugh. This is so incredibly stupid.

Of course, will I be going to church on Christmas Sunday?

dunno, am throwing a party...

8 comments:

Deacon Harry said...

You are right, it's absurd. How can any church not have a service.
Our church will have a Christmas eve service and a Sunday service followed by a dinner at church for those who have no place to go and no one to spend Christmas with.

Sara E Anderson said...

I'm not religious at all, so my christmas really is about sitting around a tree and eating food and stuff. Still, I find the argument that people need the day off to spend time with their families pretty weak - don't people usually go to church as a family? As an outsider, I don't understand this debate at all. I wonder if I would be more or less confused if I were a church member.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Oh my dear God....I was actually so grateful that Christmas falls on Sunday this year. I'm trying to get my kids to understand that Christmas is about God, not primarily about Santa and the haul they are hoping to get.

I'll be taking communion on both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and I will be extremely grateful to do so.

I am often thankful to be an Episcopalian, but this kind of thing always makes me want to go down on my knees and thank God that Henry VIII was such a lustful old fart. ;-)

Mini Me said...

Since when do you have to be in a church building to spend time with God? Since I am the only Christian in my family I am welcoming the time to spend with my family and celebrate it in a way that may not be conventional to you but is fairly normal for me. And yes, my church is not having services on Christmas Sunday.

Our church has always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve and not Christmas day, this year is no different. It's the way we, as a community and within our community, worship God and the amazing gift he gave us.

Just a different perspective from a non-megachurch kind of gal who works at a church that is anything but mainstream.

kate said...

First, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I couldn't resist from posting the article on my blog. It is frightening the extent to which American culture has been infused into evangelicalism. Let me count the ways...

Chris said...

As a pastor, I am relieved that our church is not having Christmas day services this year--we never have Christmas day service--after three services on Christmas eve(6pm children's pagent, 7pm post-mod service, 11pm candlelight high-church service)the volunteers and myself are done in. I tried to add a Christmas day service a few years ago and literally NOBODY came--just myself and the organist. If I remember my church history, Christmas was not celebrated at all until the 4th century, and celebrations were actually banned in 17th century New England for 22 years--the Puritians were responsible for that--so, to each one's own--Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Sharon said...

The conversation everywhere seems to be focused on whether or not we should have church on Christmas, especially if we have already had Christmas services on Christmas Eve. I think there could be a good case to be made that, on the Christian calendar, to have BOTH Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services is liturgically redundant. However, I think this year the real question is whether we cancel the church's regular Sunday services when they happen to fall on Christmas Day because it "interferes with family time" and all the other rituals that seem to so easily trump our Christian community worship life. Has this always been such an issue when Dec. 25 is on a Sunday? There's much in this to ponder ...

The Feminarian said...

I think it's mistaken to say that it's liturgically redundant to have services both days. That doesn't bode well for the creativity of the church! Surely we can think of more than one service's worth of ways to celebrate the coming of Jesus, the incarnation of the living God, the children's understanding of these events, the way the world changed, the second coming, the culmination of advent...

My church already has two very different kinds of services (two of each) on Christmas Eve: a pageant for kids and a solemn eucharist. Surely there are more. If it would be redundant in a church to do services both days, then I have to say it's not a very creative church! :)