Allan Bevere reports a survey of Protestant pastors in the USA. Apparently, 91% are intending to hold a service on Christmas Day, which falls on a Sunday this year of course. He asks, “Is it acceptable for churches to cancel worship on Christmas Day? If so, why? If not, why not?”
Frankly, I’m staggered (but not surprised) that the question has to be asked. Every year as Christmas approaches we hear Christians whingeing about “keeping Christ in Christmas” and “the reason for the season”. A year never passes without complaints about the secularisation of the festivities and it isn’t unusual for there to be stories about the suppression of Christianity at Christmas by civic authorities. (They almost always turn out to be nonsense, but that’s by-the-by).
I’m not generally in favour of “ranking” festivals, but it is surely unarguable that Christmas is not one of the most important Christian holy days. Yet here are almost 10% of Christian pastors closing the doors of their church. It would be unbelievable, had not the same thing happened the last time Christmas fell on Sunday. I’m going to give the last word to Kim’s comment from then:
I fear that these closures have nothing to do with worship “with” the family but rather with the fashionable American heresy of worship “of” the family. Instead of coming together to celebrate the birth of the holy Outsider who creates a new family, we withdraw and worship domestic and commodity fetishism. The Religous Right don’t need a conspiracy theory that humanists, secularists, and liberals are hijacking the Christian Christmas, they’re doing fine quite openly on their own.