Christ Mass


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Why do we call the holiday Christmas – when most of us do not attend and celebrate the traditional Catholic Mass?   It is interesting that this year, December 25th falls on the Sabbath and as such many will attend Sacrament meeting but I think also that there will be some that will think that attending Church on such a holiday is inconvenient. 

 

The Traveler

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I never knew Christmas was only associated with Catholic mass.

But that being said, I kind of have a problem with this topic.  This thread will turn into a total judgment of people that don't attend.  I'd rather focus on the positive rather than the negative.

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I've been known to run about the house at Christmastime sing-yelling TRADITION.  (Not so much these years, as my daughters are of the age where everything daddy does embarrasses them.)

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5 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

I've been known to run about the house at Christmastime sing-yelling TRADITION.  (Not so much these years, as my daughters are of the age where everything daddy does embarrasses them.)

I tell my kids that there were many times that they embarrassed me throughout their lives, it's my turn. :)

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Where do you all think that "mas" came from in the term Christmas?  But then most non-Catholics (or Orthodox) really do not understand what mass is beyond the surface of a church meeting.  As I understand it plays more into covenant than a casual attending of a religious service.

My reason for this thread is not so much what is in the minds and hearts of the world as manifested in various communities, family gatherings and individual attentions during the season – as it is in the hearts and minds of the Saints of G-d.  Perhaps my greatest concern is not so much everybody else as it is my self.  With everything that is going on that seems to distract – I, like Pam, would like to experience something more like the shepherds that despite all else were just going about their regular chores of keeping watch over their flock at night.  For all my research and other efforts – I still wonder why it is that the Shepherds (and only them) were so visited and made aware of the glad tidings of great joy.

 

The Traveler

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

I've been known to run about the house at Christmastime sing-yelling TRADITION.  (Not so much these years, as my daughters are of the age where everything daddy does embarrasses them.)

My kids have decided that I can't embarrass them because they do the same things to the point that they embarrass me.

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46 minutes ago, Traveler said:

I, like Pam, would like to experience something more like the shepherds that despite all else were just going about their regular chores of keeping watch over their flock at night.  For all my research and other efforts – I still wonder why it is that the Shepherds (and only them) were so visited and made aware of the glad tidings of great joy.

You do know that those were not ordinary shepherds, right?  They were the ones responsible for witnessing that lambs intended for sacrifice really were the first born - hence, they were also to witness the Firstborn.  See / read this (I recommend both).  Start of the "all things testify of Christ" portion (recommend you start here).  Start of the bit about the shepherds (if you can't wait).

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3 hours ago, Traveler said:

 

Where do you all think that "mas" came from in the term Christmas?  But then most non-Catholics (or Orthodox) really do not understand what mass is beyond the surface of a church meeting.  As I understand it plays more into covenant than a casual attending of a religious service.

My reason for this thread is not so much what is in the minds and hearts of the world as manifested in various communities, family gatherings and individual attentions during the season – as it is in the hearts and minds of the Saints of G-d.  Perhaps my greatest concern is not so much everybody else as it is my self.  With everything that is going on that seems to distract – I, like Pam, would like to experience something more like the shepherds that despite all else were just going about their regular chores of keeping watch over their flock at night.  For all my research and other efforts – I still wonder why it is that the Shepherds (and only them) were so visited and made aware of the glad tidings of great joy.

 

The Traveler

This is what I was taught growing up:  That the suffix mas evolved from the Old English word of maesse.  Maesse meaning festival or feast day.

 

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6 minutes ago, pam said:

This is what I was taught growing up:  That the suffix mas evolved from the Old English word of maesse.  Maesse meaning festival or feast day.

 

That's what I heard as well. 

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The word "mass" comes from a Latin transliteration meaning the Eucharist (our sacrament).  The Latin word (messa or sometimes missa) is in turn a transliteration of the Hebrew "matzah" which is a the unleavened bread used in some Jewish Liturgy, from which the Eucharist was taken.

The English usage is mixed.  Catholics don't historically have a monopoly on the usage of the word.  But most other faiths have since opted to change their preferred term.  Eucharist, Lord's Supper, etc. are now the dominant terms in other faiths.  Of course, we call it The Sacrament.

The Old English "maesse" doesn't mean festival.  It is the Old English word for "mass" in the liturgical sense.  The "festival" language is recent lore designed to separate the meaning of the Catholic "mass" from other faiths.

matzah --> missa --> maesse --> mass -->   *&#@^%*!$(#{|\   --> sacrament.

In the LDS faith, we don't believe the Advent occurred on Dec 25th anyway.  So, we can celebrate it any time, any day.  We have an annual Christmas Devotional.  We have a special Christmas program in each ward on a Sunday near the 25th simply because of tradition.  In our ward, we had a Stake Christmas Choir event last night.  We will have a ward Choir event next Sunday.  We had a Christmas breakfast for the ward at a time the building was available.

We celebrate it quite a bit at church in both sacramental and festive ways.  So, we celebrate it as a family on the actual 25th (sometimes other days).  What's so bad about that?  I don't feel the need to apologize.

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

The word "mass" comes from a Latin transliteration meaning the Eucharist (our sacrament).  The Latin word (messa or sometimes missa) is in turn a transliteration of the Hebrew "matzah" which is a the unleavened bread used in some Jewish Liturgy, from which the Eucharist was taken.

2 hours ago, pam said:

This is what I was taught growing up:  That the suffix mas evolved from the Old English word of maesse.  Maesse meaning festival or feast day.

The etymology in the dictionary doesn't agree with either one of you.  (Not that I'm saying this has to be right, just pointing out what it says, which partly agrees with Carb.)

mass.jpg

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But Gospel comes from god-spel, literally "good news", right?

(Because that's what I've been claiming with nonChristians, and teaching people in Gospel principles class forever)

Edited by NeuroTypical
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5 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

But Gospel comes from god-spel, literally "good news", right?

(Because that's what I've been claiming with nonChristians, and teaching people in Gospel principles class forever)

In google, type "define gospel" (without quotes, replace with whichever word you're interested in) and click the link to expand and see word origin, etc. and you'll see these things I'm posting.  Yes, "good news".  I find word origins can be significant in helping me to understand or internalize various teachings.

gospel.jpg

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29 minutes ago, zil said:

The etymology in the dictionary doesn't agree with either one of you.  (Not that I'm saying this has to be right, just pointing out what it says, which partly agrees with Carb.)

mass.jpg

Interesting and doubtless significant that the meeting is named for the signal that it's finally over.

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4 hours ago, zil said:

The etymology in the dictionary doesn't agree with either one of you.  (Not that I'm saying this has to be right, just pointing out what it says, which partly agrees with Carb.)

mass.jpg

That's odd.  At work I looked it up and it gave the exact same pattern, but the definitions I wrote earlier.  Now at home I'm looking it up again and it gives the definitions you gave.  Is the internet out to get me?

That said, I looked up the Wikipedia entry.  It agrees with you.  But it says that historically, my earlier explanation was considered the common interpretation.

Who knows?

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4 hours ago, Vort said:

Interesting and doubtless significant that the meeting is named for the signal that it's finally over.

Not really, there are two meanings.

1) It dismisses / casts out the evil influences in our lives.
2) We are given our marching orders sent out into the world to do some good.

That's what the common sayings are.  But again, historically, there have been other explanations as well, such as: At church we have messages "sent" to us from God.

Edited by Guest
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5 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

That's odd.  At work I looked it up and it gave the exact same pattern, but the definitions I wrote earlier.  Now at home I'm looking it up again and it gives the definitions you gave.  Is the internet out to get me?

Etymology isn't an exact science.  It's not unusual for different experts to come to different conclusions (though it's also not that common).

4 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Not really, there are two meanings.

1) It dismisses / casts out the evil influences in our lives.
2) We are given our marching orders sent out into the world to do some good.

That's what the common sayings are.  But again, historically, there have been other explanations as well, such as: At church we have messages "sent" to us from God.

Please stop ruining perfectly good snarks with your serious interpretations.

1 minute ago, Carborendum said:

OPE!  It came back with some differences.

 

That's a very nice blank you posted there. </snark>

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2 minutes ago, zil said:

Well, I'm not sure, but I think Vort's comment was meant to be a bit sarcastic, as in, "mass" == "hooray, it's finally over".

Yes, it probably was.  I just didn't catch it the first go around. He's the master of the subtle snark.

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14 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

I've been known to run about the house at Christmastime sing-yelling TRADITION.  (Not so much these years, as my daughters are of the age where everything daddy does embarrasses them.)

Seems like that would be the reason to do it MORE. Once it no longer embarrasses them it would cease to be fun.

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