Christmas Lore rADVENT The Bible says... Secular Traditions

100

What is Germanic mythology or Norse mythology?
According to this pagan mythology, the god Odin rode his white horse Sleipnir through the air, always accompanied by two black ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who would listen at the chimney–then just a hole in the roof– to tell Odin about the good and bad behavior of the mortals.

100

What is the Advent wreath?
The "fiery" Advent fixture originated in Germany in the 1930s.

100

What are gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
The 3 gifts bestowed by the wise men to Jesus.
 

200

What is Turkey?
The Western character "Santa Claus" is an adaptation of the Dutch character "Sinterklaas," based on the historical figure of the early church Saint Nicholas. In the 4th century, St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra, now known as this modern day country.

200

What is purple?
This is the liturgical color for the season of Advent.

200

What is Egypt?
The country to which Mary and Joseph fled to escape King Herod.
 

300

What is a Christmas tree?
The influential 17th century pastor Oliver Cromwell preached against the use of this popular home décor item declaring it a “heathen tradition.”

300

What is "coming"?
The meaning of the word "Advent."

300

Who is the angel Gabriel?
Who said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God”?
 

400

Who is John Calvin? Calvin gained a reputation for wanting to abolish the celebration of Christmas, but this is an inaccurate portrayal of his position. This move of the reformer was prompted by the disastrous consequences of the late medieval practice of holy days and festivals. These were days devoted to all sorts of patron saints and holy persons. At each of these days the inhabitants of a city were expected to go to church, visit the mass, say prayers in a chapel, participate in a procession, and so on. That took half the day, and not infrequently the whole day. For all days of leisure, there was an enormous loss of labor and productivity. It has been calculated that up to 50% of the workdays got lost in this way in medieval Europe. Calvin, and the other reformers, abolished nearly all these holy days and holidays. And in case you are inclined to think that this suggests a liaison between calvinism and capitalism, remember that poverty was a real social problem. That problem was, besides the idolatry involved in the veneration of all these saints, Calvin’s chief motivation for doing what he did. Sundays were the days of rest; the other days the days of doing what God calls you to do!
Which famous Reformed Theologian wrote this regarding Christmas in 1551: “Before I ever entered Geneva, there were no festivals but the Lord’s day...Since my recall, I have pursued the moderate course of keeping Christ’s birth-day as you are wont to do”?

400

What is seven? O Antiphons are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers of the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are: December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom) December 18: O Adonai (O Lord) December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse) December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David) December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring) December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations) December 23: O Emmanuel (O God With Us)
The number of verses in the hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."

400

What are Matthew and Luke?
The gospels which include the story of Jesus' birth.
 

500

What is punching heretics? In 325 at the First Council of Nicea, Arius was called upon to defend his position that Christ was not equal to God. St. Nicholas felt Arius’ position was nonsense and heresy, so he stood up and punched Arius. For this, Emperor Constantine and the other bishops present stripped St. Nicholas of his title as bishop by removing his copy of the gospels from him, as well as his vestments. Later, while in prison, Jesus and the Virgin appeared to St. Nicholas and restored these items to him.
While St. Nicholas is most renown for his secret gift-giving, he is lesser known for this. (hint: it put him on the Church's naughty list)

500

What is the 6th century? Earliest clues suggesting this time period include: 1. The Council of Tours in 567 declared a season of fasting for monks for 25 days leading up to Christmas. 2. A collection of homilies from Pope St. Gregory the Great (whose papacy was from 590-604) included a sermon for the second Sunday of Advent.
The century the church first recognized the season of Advent.

500

What is at least 2 because the word is plural; the Bible doesn't give the exact number.
The number of wise men who visited Jesus.
 

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