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Christmas, or Christ's Mass 

According to the Philocalian calendar, Christmas was first celebrated in Rome in the year 336. It gradually spread to the churches of the east, which already had a festival on Jan. 6 commemorating the manifestation of God in both the birth and baptism of Jesus. The date, Dec. 25, rests on no historical foundation. It was probably chosen to oppose the feast Natalis Solis Invicti, the birthday of the "Unconquerable Sun God" (Saturn), which took place at the winter solstice to celebrate the birth of "the Sun of Righteousness." 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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