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Religious Christmas Services

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      07.12.2001 15:34
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      This is a question I have been asking myself for a long time why do so many actually celebrate christmas but when I go to church on Sundays and even when I go to the Church for the Christmas service there is hardly anybody there. Right heres a quick reminder in simple terms for those who are a bit hard of understanding- Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus who for those who don't know was the son of god. He was born thousands of years ago in a stable in Bethlehem yes you got it thats where the christmas carol mentions. The three wise men bought him gifts when they followed the star hence presents and a star at the top of the tree. These here are just a few reminders of what christmas is all about not huge enormous presents and stuffing your face with sweets etc etc. Sorry if this is a bit of a frontal assault but in my view to many people have forgotten what the original celebration of christmas is all about and seem to worship some fat bloke in the supermarket giving out presents yet have never stepped in a church all their lives is this not a bit strange. Christmas is a time to enjoy yes and a time to remember those less fortunate than ourselves but above all it should be to show our gratitude for jesus christs arrival on earth. If you don't believe in Jesus and want to argue the point do it else where because I do and that is what christmas celebrates and if you don't believe in God or Jesus then take down your decorations and refund your gifts because you have no real reason to celebrate. For those who really want to find out about christmas and why we actually celebrate it just take a little bit of time out this year and go to your local church and find out when they do the nativity you may then gain a whole new understanding of christmas.

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        01.12.2001 21:16
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        In our local Church the Vicar although not entirely modern, he is not of the "old school" either. Not everyone can take mass but would like to go to a Christmas service. Our Vicar has seen this so we have an outside candle service Christmas Eve. It is held so that families and everyone can take part. We all meet at the centre of the town which is also the Market Place. Here every year there is a Christmas tree with the lights quite high on the tree (so vandals cannot reach them) but it is still lovely. We then sing carols and have prayers. It is not just for Church of England, but for Catholics and all other religions. This simple service involves everyone from the old to the young. Everyone joins in and it really becomes a great service for everyone. To see everyone holding candles shinning brightly and singing and the look of absolute wonder on the childrens faces is really something to see and reminds everyone what Christmas is really about.

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          11.12.2000 20:37
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          My local Vicar recently asked me if I would be willing to make a speech on the true meaning of Christmas, at the local Church on Christmas Eve. Here's what I have come up with: "knowledge is power" is a very overused phrase these days, don't you think? Especially when you consider that: (1) most of the people who use it seem to possess no knowledge whatsoever, or at least anything that is actually worth knowing! (2) sales, marketing, advertising, media etc have used the phrase SO much that it has simply come to mean, "Buy our product/service/newspaper/lemon-scented-cleansing-pad and you will then have the POWER to really makes things happen in your life". Urm, yeah right! (3) they're only using half the quote! The full original quote is "knowledge is power, only through God". Yep, it basically means 'if you believe in God and live your life as a devoted Christian then what you know will be powerful. Otherwise you can know everything there is to know, and still be a fool' - geddit? Anyway, I wonder how many people who use this phrase actually realise that: (a) It's a religious phrase (b) it's almost meaningless when taken out of context. What do I mean by that? "knowledge is power". Fullstop. Hmph... knowledge of WHAT exactly? Knowing that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west doesn't give you ANY power to change it. Knowing that 2+2=4 doesn't exactly equip you with the ability to take over the world. I'm sure you can think of plenty more examples. Anyhow, this is all so far beside the point that I originally came here to speak about. Which is this: Only a true wise man realises that he knows nothing, and that knowing anything other than this is neither powerful nor can ever be meaningful. There is no truth. It's certainly not "out there". If it's anywhere it's within, but even
          that is highly unlikely. True "power" comes from knowing nothing, or rather knowing that you know nothing. At least I think so. I wouldn't know... Thank you all, and have a smashing Christmas. God Bless!

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            07.12.2000 06:49
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            To me midnight Mass has always signalled the start of Christmas, as indeed it should I guess! When I was a kid I just couldn't wait to be considered old enough to be allowed to go this service. When that day finally dawned (or should I say dusked?), I was probably really too young to appreciate the service, just being allowed to stay up past midnight had been my motive. Once I reached my mid-teens, I started to spend Christmas with a good friend and her family. Their tradition has always been for midnight Mass to start off the celebration of Christmas. Straight after the whole extended family and friends have attended the local church, it was back to the house for a feast. My own family are not particularly close, my friends family are and so, to a certain extent were the regular churchgoers. This meant that it felt like being with one massive family for the service, amongst friends, those I knew, those I didn't. I found the love that I believe is so often lacking in so many families, especially noticeable at Christmas. I think, if you are a Christian, finding the church that best suits you for this special service is essential. I will be unable to go to my regular church this year, as I will be away. As I am staying with non-believers I won't want to go alone this year for Midnight Mass, nor will I want to drag someone along unwillingly, so I shall have to forgo this pleasure. I will miss the discordant singing, the stifled giggles from those who had a few too many before the service, the old favourite carols that stir the blood, that herald in a message of hope. I shall miss the small spark of excitement that starts with the first chords of the first carol and builds up to a crescendo with the final chorus of "Oh come, all ye faithful" you know, the one that you can only sing once a year, "yea Lord we greet thee, born this happy morning". I usual
            ly get very emotional when it gets to that verse (soppy!). That said, I shall still have a great time. The traditions may differ from year to year, but the reason for celebrating is always the same for me, and it has nothing to do with Santa!

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              05.12.2000 16:36
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              I am no bible basher but I do practise my religion.We attend mass every Christmas eve (aswell as throughout the year) we go to the 5.30 mass ,though when the children are a bit older we will attend midnight mass. It is very magical and very touching. After all the hustle and bustle of last minute buying,delivering cards and presents and any other preparations it really is a breath of fresh air. The beautiful carols being played ,the readings from the priests and members of the parish really brings you all together and gives you a real feeling of community spirit,as many at the mass are friends,childrens friends and of course family. Two huge Christmas trees are placed either end of the church , beautifully decorated , they are only put up Christmas eve. At the back of the church there is the most beautiful Nativity scene I have seen, it is huge and you stand and you look at it and you really feel the true spirit of Christmas. Any children at the mass are invited to look at the Nativity scene first and to see their faces is a delight. I feel that even if you are not a religious person, a visit to the Christmas eve mass (even on the way home from the pub as many do)really is worth while as after all, that is what Christmas is REALLY all about.

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