The secular Christmas Sunday

What do you expect attendance to be at your church on Christmas Sunday?

  • less than a normal Christmas season

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • about the same

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • more than a normal Christmas season

    Votes: 5 62.5%

  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .

wil

UNeyeR1
Veteran Member
Messages
24,499
Reaction score
3,899
Points
108
Location
a figment of your imagination
Interesting when Christmas falls on a Sunday and people have to choose sleeping in, playing the under the tree present game or interupting the secular event and heaven forbid, drag themselves to church!

It seems (all my opinion open to be rebuffed) that typically both the Sunday before and after Christmas similar to Easter Sunday have record numbers at most churches.

But this year most churches will expect less on Christmas Sunday, as we are actively separating the wheat from the chaff, those that put the secular event on a pedestal and forsake their church and the celebration of the Christ Child in lieu of the the old guy with the beard....

Of course one large secular event which will be used as an excuse is the Christmas eve service...I call this a secular event because for many folks unless they have a wedding or a funeral to attend, this is usually their annual pilgrimige to church...

Am I being way to cynical here? I sure would like to be wrong.
 
holidays have no impact on attendance where i go. sunday morning, sunday night, wednessday night & friday night.

i expect the same 900 people who always come on sunday morning to be there, regardless of what holiday it is. the only time attendance goes down is in the summer when most fathers take time off to travel with their family.
there are always extra people who come on easter, mothers day & christmas...that is just the way it is.
 
it makes no difference , it is the same as any other day as far as we are concerned, but i might add that believe it or not my first ever time at the kingdom hall was a christmas day, and the reason for that ,was because after studying the bible for many months i came to the realization that i did not want to take part in the mixed up (pagan /christianity) celabration called christmas .so it just so happened that the first time i went to a meeting at the kingdom hall it was that day, but it wasnt really planned that way it just happened to fall on a sunday meeting day and i went to the hall to listen to a puplic bible talk:)
 
mee said:
it makes no difference , it is the same as any other day as far as we are concerned, but i might add that believe it or not my first ever time at the kingdom hall was a christmas day, and the reason for that ,was because after studying the bible for many months i came to the realization that i did not want to take part in the mixed up (pagan /christianity) celabration called christmas .so it just so happened that the first time i went to a meeting at the kingdom hall it was that day, but it wasnt really planned that way it just happened to fall on a sunday meeting day and i went to the hall to listen to a puplic bible talk:)

Then your disdain has nothing to do with secularism of the holiday, I take it. Instead it has to do with a religious holiday that contains other than Christian values...?

Personally, I see nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of the "savior" of the world.

There is a painting out there somewhere that shows the "Jolly old elf" kneeling before a babe in swaddling, with the caption "The true meaning of Christmas". And yes, it is the "Coca Cola" Santa kneeling before Christ (hat over heart, head bowed).

I think the company wasn't trying to advertise their product, as much as reminding us to keep things in proper perspective...

It reminds me of the Budweiser time slot during the Superbowl, with people in an airport waiting area, starting to stand up and clap. Old, young, men, women, children...like a wave at a football game, they turned (in slow motion and began to clap), and the viewer could not see what they were clapping about or at, until one, then three, then ten, then fifty soldiers came walking through the doors from the tarmac and into the lobby. Though one could not hear the clapping, the music in the background went from very quiet to gradual thunderous cresciendo, back to quiet, while the scene faded to black. Then we were left with two words in the middle of the dark screen..."Thank you".

In the lower corner in tiny-miniscule writing, were the words Anheieser-Busch Co.

Christmas is secular only if we let it be. If we choose to look for the holiness in Christmas, it is right there just waiting for us to wonder over it.

The power in Christmas is simple. A sense of renewed hope for all of us. The strength of Christmas is not Christmas day, but rather the weeks preceding that day. We treat eachother a little nicer, we go out of our way a little more, there is an energy that seems to build around and through us, with an expectation of...something wonderful to come. What we don't realize is that we are feeding that energy build up, because subconsciously we want to. It is a time when we can be soft hearted and generous, and it is alright. We can take chances and reach out to others, and that is alright. People see someone give their coat off their back to another, and they smile in approval, instead of sneering at the "foolishness" of it.

There is nothing "pagan" about Christmas, or maybe there is in the most literal sense. Pagan, after all means country folk. Simple people living simple lives, not the complex version of life as lived by the "citizen" or city dweller.

Jesus never said give up your culture, He only said I am the light, follow Me, trust in Me. The only time He said something wasn't good, is if it caused us to stumble, then we are to get rid of it.

I suppose if the celebration of Christ's birth causes one to stumble, then yes that should be gotten rid of as well...but only for that individual. The rest of us need the celebration of His birth, because it helps hearten us.

In furtherence, I think the precursor to "Santa Claus" as we understand him, would feel bad if he thought that his life of taking care of orphaned and impoverished children was for naught. His name was Nicholas, and he was a cobbler. His life was cut short after decades of caring for local children who had no one, by thugs. Whether or not cannonized, the man was a saint in his way of life. It is fitting that all children who are familiar with Christmas look forward to the spirit of St. Nicholas leaving them something on Christmas morning, whether it be the 25th of December or the 6th of January, or what ever morning Christians believe is appropriate.

Christmas generates hope.

v/r

Q
 
So what are the real results? I dare say our predictions were wrong. (Yes we know the Jehovah's Witnesses see this as a normal sabbath and if anything had more....I'm talking about the festivus for the restofus)

I was out of town and don't yet know what happened at my church.

However at my mother's church which normally has three services on Sunday they only had one. And it was less than 50% full, and if the children's choir wasn't required to be there to sing, I'd guess the congregation would have been half that.

I heard of churches who cancelled service so their families could be together on this special day...lol, I'm sorry, but it is the sabbath (according to christians) and supposedly a religious day, a day for reflection and rejoice, add to the that the day that the birth of Jesus is celebrated...to not have service or to stay home is proof that we worship Santa Claus above all. As he and his tree and the materialism of presents superceded not only a celebration of Christ but also the regular sabbath and celbration of G!D.

So much for worship no gods before me, the golden bull has been replaced by the little jolly elf dressed in red.

tis an eyeopener.

and the witnesses sit on the sidelines and grin...
 
I always go Christmas Eve, whether it's on a Sunday, Saturday, or whenever. The eucharist is still the central point of the service, the readings either for the birth of Christ story and from Isaiah, or often a children's Christmas play using the readings as script, plus music of course.

This year I was at a new church due to our move. It's a tiny one compared to what I've gone to before, it was packed to the rafters and the children did a lovely job.

Wil, if it's not too impolite to ask, I have become curious about which church you attend. You mentioned at one point that you speak at various churches, if I am remembering correctly. Are you a minister?

peace and a joyful Christmas season to you,
lunamoth
 
Church attendance doesnt affect your salvation. Church attendance on Christmas Day doesnt affect your salvation. Its interesting to me how ppl assume that to be a good Christian depends on how many nights a week you attend your church if you even have one. I think ppl just like to point fingers and proclaim judgement on someones righteousness. All our righteous acts are as dirty rags... we can never be saved by our works and that includes how many days you make it to church a week.
 
I am not trying to imply that anyone need a church or a congregation...or that attendance equals salvation...I don't believe that in the least.

What I am trying to discern is some facts and figures...

typically the Sundays around Christmas are boons for attendance and coffers to most churches...agree or disagree?

typically these Sundays are multiples of normal Sundays and Christmas Eve service is also popular...most churches never have a Christmas Day service.

However this year it fell on Sunday....and I erroneously most people seem to say...think it is significant that most that would normally attend church on any given Sunday....abstained to celebrate Santa Claus instead.

I've heard all the excuses locally: we went on Christmas eve; what are we suppose to do, get up and go to church and disrupt opening presents?

What I am discussing is the people that normally go Christmas eve, and would normally be in church on Sunday before and after Christmas....many of them, so many of them didn't go on Christmas Sunday...and so many churches were aware they wouldn't that they substantially reduced service or eliminated it all together on the sabbath that celebrates the birth of the child whom they claim as their saviour....

Am I the only one that thinks that amazingly ironic?
 
I understand your point.. my point is this.. God doesnt need us to worship Him. Christ doesnt need any birthday presents or special recognition. Church is for us.. it is a method of drawing closer to our Lord. When my family is together on a holiday such as Christmas we are in fellowship with the Lord. the same as in church.. we go to fellowship and worship. God doesnt need us.. We need Him. He wants us to need Him.

Jesus also said that when two or more are gathered in His name He is amongst them.. if that means telling the story of baby Jesus to the children and singing carols of His birth.. of praying the prayer of thanks... Christ is certainly present.

In short.. I dont think its a big deal.. the facts and figures. I think the facts and figures are representative of someone trying to find fault with Christs church. Luckily, we arent concerned about the worlds view of us..
 
Well said Faithfulservant.

I'd like to address this briefly:

wil said:
typically the Sundays around Christmas are boons for attendance and coffers to most churches...agree or disagree?

Agreed about boons for attendance because as I said and you note most people go on Cristmas Eve instead, I don't know about coffers because I think that the majority of funds are raised by pledges that are met or not met regardless of church attendance on Christmas. I think more revealing is your note of cynicism with respect to what a church cares about. I'm not naive about the need of funds to keep church buildings from falling down, nor about incidents of abuse of funds, but is that a bit of glee I read in your post at the prospect of organized religion feeling a prick of pain caused by possible decreased attendance on Christmas Sunday? For that matter, why not pick on Super Bowl Sunday if you are truely concerned about secularization? There have been a lot of shared stories here at CR recently showing how the true Christmas Spirit is found around the hearth and out in the world, not just in a church building.

A family goes to church on Christmas Eve, whether they otherwise attend every Sunday of the year or at no other time, and you think decreased attendance on Christmas Sunday means that there's increased secularization of the Christmas Holiday? HELLO! Christmas has been a secular as well as Christian holiday for my lifetime at least. And if your point is that there are a lot of overtly pious people who are hypocrites--HELLO AGAIN! That's been going on for a lot longer time. :)

We all fall short. Mainstream churches, fringe churches, non-denomination churches, UU churches, 'small' churches, BIG churches, alternative chruches. Try to see it from another point of view, and be accepting. As a dear friend recently said to me, Let It Be.

Would be so nice to have my Jesus suit fit perfectly.

peace,
lunamoth
 
lunamoth said:
I'd like to address this briefly:

Would be so nice to have my Jesus suit fit perfectly.

peace,
lunamoth

LOL:D . i am going to have to buy a new Jesus Suit or have this one i am wearing taken up or let out or however they say it.
 
Back
Top