Christmas Lore
rADVENT
The Bible says...
Christmas Hymns
Christmas and Culture

100

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.
What is Germanic mythology or Norse mythology?

100

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

100

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

100

Finish this verse: "The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay..."
What is "the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay"?

100

In this iconic film, our protagonist is denied his Christmas wish with this warning: "You'll shoot your eye out!"
What is A Christmas Story?

200

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.
What is Turkey?

200

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

200

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

200

Finish this verse: "The first Noel the angel did say..."
What is "was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay"?

200

This was the most popular Christmas toy purchased in 1984.
What is the cabbage patch doll?

300

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

300

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

300

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

300

Verse 6 of this hymn serves as the doxology (sung after the Offering and before the Prayer of Thanksgiving) at St. Philip for the season of Advent; it's lyrics are: "Christ, to thee with God the Father, and O Holy Ghost, to thee, hymn and chant and high thanksgiving and unwearied praises be. Honor, glory, and dominion, and eternal victory, evermore and evermore!"
What is "Of the Father's Love Begotten"?

300

This small child catches the Grinch mid-heist in his plot to steal Christmas.
Who is Cindy Lou Who?

400

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”?
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!

400

The number of verses in the hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."
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)

400

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

400

In 1719, Isaac Watts wrote this hymn without intending it's use for Christmas; rather, he set Psalm 98 to music to celebrate how God's majesty makes "heaven and nature sing."
What is "Joy to the World"?

400

The ghost of this former business partner visits Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol."
Who is "Jacob Marley"?

500

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)
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.

500

The century the church first recognized the season of Advent.
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.

500

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

500

This hymn belongs to a special category called "macaronic" or mixed-language texts, because it's verses include both English and Latin.
What is "Angels We Have Heard on High"?

500

This U.S. President barred the Christmas Tree from being displayed in the White House.
Who is Teddy Roosevelt?