What is Christmas?

What is Christmas? Sounds like a stupid question. Everyone knows what we celebrate on December 25th. You don’t have to be a Christian to be able to give an answer. But where does the word Christmas come from and what does it mean? „Christmas” is a shortened form of Christ‘s mass. It is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038. Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), Messiah, meaning anointed and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist. In English therefore the profoundly religious meaning of the name of this great feast is more transparent than in other languages. As the celebrations are now being held around the world, amidst the merry making and the gift giving, the name of this holiday is there as a reminder that a Christmas without Christ does not make any sense.

Merry Christmas!

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