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Youngstown, OH 44509

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Christmas

Christmas is a feast strictly of Christian origin. Christmas is celebrated always on the same day of the year—December 25—although the exact date of our Savior’s birth is not known.

The celebration introduced between 243 and 336 had its origin in the West, in Rome. The East already celebrated the Lord’s birthday on January 6. The celebration of the feast on December 25 was perhaps arranged to oppose with a Christian feast birthday of the unconquered sun god, established at the time of emperor Aurelian (270 – 275) as a pagan festival in the empire. The choice of December 25 may have contributed the natural symbolism between the beginning of the lengthening of daylight, following the winter solstice. During the third century, the celebration spread rapidly from Rome to the East.

Mystical Meaning

The celebration of the Nativity of our Lord should have the effect of leading us in spirit to the grotto of Bethlehem, and in making us aware of the necessity of a spiritual rebirth. This can only be done by a close union with the Word of God made man and by becoming partakers of His divine nature, to which man was raised. The meaning of Christmas is clearly explained both in the epistles of the feast and in the lessons of the first nocturne of the Divine Office.

Customs

Many Christian customs exist, particularly in the northern part of Europe. The exchanging of gifts is meant to be a reminder that the eternal Father gave His Son as a gift to man; the Christmas tree, though of pagan origin, was quickly taken up as a symbol of Christ, the true tree of life, who by His coming bought life to the whole world; dating the more solemn papal document on Christmas day was done to point out the feast of the Nativity as the beginning of the Christian era.

2023 Christmas Mass Schedule:

December 24, 2023

  • 7:00 AM
  • 9:30 AM
  • 12:00 PM (Noon)
  • 4:00 PM
  • 10:00 PM (Midnight Mass)

December 25, 2023 (Christmas Day)

  • 7:00 AM
  • 9:30 AM
  • 12:00 PM (Noon)

See the full schuedule here

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