As we approach the 3rd Sunday in Advent, I’ve been noodling over Lori’s last post. I’m really having a problem with the idea that it’s a mortal sin to miss mass. I think I’ve been to two masses in my entire life so if that’s a hard fast rule I’m in a world of hurt.
Don’t worry. Lori’s used to me questioning things like this. I think Ruth has grown accustomed to it too. It’s just the way I’m wired. Toss something down in front of me and tell me that it’s a FACT and I’m going to look at it from every direction. I do the same thing with Christmas. For me, some things make sense and others just don’t.
Do you have to go to Midnight Mass? I don’t. Do you? I actually like going to the midnight service but I’m a night owl. My husband is essentially useless past about 11:00. That said, he pops up out of bed in the morning and tries to talk to me. He’s more of a sunrise service kind of guy. When it comes to Christmas Eve, we go to the 7 pm service.
Do you have to put up a Christmas tree? A friend of mine hates Christmas trees. “It’s a pagan custom. We shouldn’t do it.” Look – I like the lights. A lot. They make me happy. And lights on a tree with shiny ornaments are just extra sparkly and thus awesome.
Another friend challenges the validity of Christmas as a whole. As Christians, in her opinion, we should focus on Easter. Christmas just needs to be downplayed as much as possible. But I think it’s a big deal that Jesus came as a little baby, born to a poor mother and father in a stable. In my mind, Jesus’ birth took religion out of the temple and the control of the Priests and the Pharisees. It took it out into the world. I see her point, Easter is a big deal, but I’m still pulling out my nativity and my grandmother’s angels. I’m putting up my tree and my lights. I’m putting on my Christmas-y music.
I’m not saying you have to celebrate Christmas, but I’m going to do it. Don’t look for rules. Don’t look for regulations. Don’t stress yourself out over it. Come up with a celebration that is meaningful to you and reflects your relationship to God and Christ.