In this clip from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Linus recites the gospel story of the Birth of Jesus when Charlie Brown asks if there is anyone who can tell him what Christmas is all about.
In the midst of fear and insecurity, this simple cartoon image from 1965 continues to live on as an inspiration for us to seek true peace and true security in the one place it has always been and can always still be found. And hidden in Linus’ proclamation of the birth of Jesus is a special message keyed to the phrase “fear not”. Check it out.
Over a thousand people joined to set a Guinness World Record as the world’s largest nativity scene to perform this flawless rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” A beautiful video.
In addition to an interactive calendar with readings and reflections for the days of the Christmas Season, the USCCB also provides blessings for a nativity scene and Christmas Tree, a blessing of the home for the Epiphany, Pope Benedict’s spiritual thoughts on Christmas, a one page flyer of the infancy narrative, Lectio Divina for the Christmas season, Liturgical Notes for Christmas, the liturgical proclamation of the Nativity of our Lord on Christmas and the announcement of Easter and the Moveable Feasts on Epiphany. They also provide a listing of twenty Christmas movies with their descriptions and ratings (both the USCCB’s rating and the Motion Picture Association’s rating).
These resources are provided to help you and your family or faith formation group to better understand the Gospel message recalling the Lord’s birth and how to grow in your faith. Includes Scripture reflections, several articles and suggested books.
Hidden message behind the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”? (courtesy of the Catholic News Agency)
From 1558 – 1829 Catholics in England were prohibited by law from any practice of their faith in private or public. Although the snopes.com “fact check” website discounts the claim there are some who believe that the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written as a catechism song for young Catholics with two levels of meaning – the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to Catholics. Each element of the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember, for example “true love” represents Jesus, love incarnate. Here’s the Catholic News Agency’s item on a Catholic interpretation of the song (and we won’t get into how the Twelve Days are after and not before Christmas). Enjoy.
Gather the whole family to watch the story of the birth of Jesus illustrated using only LEGO bricks as part of the Brick Bible for Kids series of storybooks for younger children.
The story of Christmas as told by the children of St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand.
Hearing the story of Christmas you can always expect a twist to it, but seeing and hearing it through the eyes of a child is extra special. Enjoy this piece we created for The reThink Group.
The story of Christmas, as told by the children of Bettendorf Christian Church.
The story of Christmas as told by the children of St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand in a TV newscast broadcast from the day Christ was born.
God loves us so much that he sent us his only Son, Jesus. During the Christmas season, we celebrate Jesus’ birth and his becoming known to the world – his Epiphany. Loyola Press’ website has a number of ideas to celebrate Christmas, including lesson plans for Grades 1-3, 4-6 & 7-8.
This video from St. Mary’s Press (via YouTube) explains the true meaning of Christmas in under two minutes.
Matthew West’s inspirational song about The Light of the World., courtesy of St. Mary’s Press.
A brief video from St. Mary’s Press with the story of St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus.
This activity, from St. Mary’s Press, gives young people the opportunity to enjoy their favorite Christmas songs while exploring the original meaning of Christmas.
This Lectionary-based prayer reflection, from St. Mary’s Press, can be used with teens or adults to celebrate the Epiphany.
St. Mary’s Press webpage with videos and suggestions for breaking open the Christmas Season with teens (and adults, too).
A brief reflection on “the Hope of Christmas” including a downloadable Prayer of Christmas Past, Present and Future (but you have to click on the picture of the prayer and not the “download now” link in order to access the downloadable prayer). Courtesy of Sadlier Religion.
Including whole community catechesis handouts for Christmas, Catholic Christmas traditions, printable Christmas prayers, a few items associated with creches, Christmas blues and Christmas stories. Courtesy of Sadlier Religion.
Bishop Barron on Christmas and the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel, courtesy of St. Mary’s Press.
The radio stops playing Christmas music. Trees are already discarded on the streets. The festive lights that have been up since Thanksgiving are dark and the Valentine’s Day candy has taken the place of Christmas items in the stores. For many, the Christmas season ends on December 26. But, while the rest of the world is winding down their Christmas celebrations, faithful Catholics are just gearing up for ours – a celebration that continues well into January. Learn more from this article from the National Catholic Register.
Pretty much everyone everywhere celebrates Christmas for one day only. All the decorations are gone by New Year’s but the stores remove their decorations as early as the 26th. Here are some ideas on how you can keep Christmas going throughout the actual liturgical season of Christmas.
You may have seen it: a mysterious series of letters and numbers, looking like an equation, inscribed in chalk over a doorway at your parish or at the home of a friend. Maybe you thought you could figure it out. Maybe you were too embarrassed to ask, “What is that?” If you don’t know what the chalk is all about, you’re certainly not alone. Here’s an explanation.