Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas and Sol Invictus

According to Wikipedia the date set for Christmas may not have anything to do with the actual birth date of Jesus of Nazareth. There are many reasons to believe that this date was chosen to coincide with one or more pagan holidays – and with reasoning that is significant for Christians, and for Masons.

The Romans had a festival held on or about December 25 called “Dies Natalis Solis Invicti” – the birthday of the unconquered sun. In ancient times, the winter solstice was calculated to fall on December 25. In modern times, we recognize December 25 as the day when the lengthening days is first noticeable.

The Romans observed that the days became shorter and shorter, and without a modern appreciation of astronomy, they could not be sure that the days wouldn't continue to get shorter, until the sun disappeared completely and permanently.

So the ancients carefully observed and recorded the times of sunrise and sunset. And when, with their relatively crude measuring devices, they determined that the days were getting longer on December 25, a great celebration was in order! The sun would not die! The Light will return, and with it the promise of new crops and new life!

So Christians celebrate December 25 as the day the Light of the World was born. And Masons, Christian or no, can and should celebrate this date as representing the rebirth of Light in this troubled world.

Merry Christmas, my Brothers.