There’s a post over at Summa Mammas about the death of advent, which I previously wrote about on this weblog.
She doesn’t seem to have a solution to the problem either, though, and if the article she references gives a solution, it’s not mentioned.
I’m open to suggestions.
It’s not going to be an easy problem to solve, honestly. The early Church chose secular society over gospel and now that decision is still with its descendants. The only way to fix it is to go back and reexamine those decisions and that’s going to take a powerful combination of courage and charisma.
1- The Church has to explain why the holiday is where it is in time, historically.
2- The Church has to move it to a time consistent with the gospels. That is to say, the Church has to take a stand for the importance of the veracity of the gospels.
3- The Church has to establish what trappings are consistent with the gospels (nativity scene and star of Bethlehem for example) and which are foreign and should be expunged (tree and carolers for example).
Think about the reasons not to do this:
It’s not what the mass culture wants.
It’s not what the mass culture expect.
It’s not the way things were done before.
It would look weird to the mass culture.
In other words, the mass culture is perceived, on all sides, as holding priority. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that it’s exercising that priority.
Ask and you shall receive:
In this blog entry, Mark Shea explains that the Church did not, in fact, layer the Christmas holdiday over the solstice (since that wasn’t even celebrated at that point in time). He then tracks back through the historians who decided that since the two celebrations happened so close to one another, Christmas must have come later. And that the historians never bothered to check their sources.
It’s from his upcoming book. Have fun!