• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

This essay is about how Christians celebrate religious festivals and why they continue to celebrate these today.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

This essay is about how Christians celebrate religious festivals and why they continue to celebrate these today. The church year is called the liturgical year, which begins with Advent, and it has many liturgical seasons. Each season has one or more religious festivals. Festivals are celebrations to remember the important events in Jesus' life. There are three cycles in the Christian year, these are; (i) The Christmas cycle begins with Advent , a period of preparation prior to Christmas Day, December 25th, when Jesus was born. On January 6th is the Epiphany. (ii) The Easter Cycle - This is the most important cycle. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, people receive ashes on their forehead in mass. Lent is a 40 day period before Easter, commemorative of the 40 days Jesus went into the desert. This reflective preparation ends with Holy week, containing contrasting important days, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. (iii) Whitsun Cycle , the least important of the three cycles, begins with Ascension day which is 40 days after Jesus' resurrection at Easter. ...read more.

Middle

People attend Midnight mass (Vigil) on Christmas Eve, preparing for the coming of Jesus. The service may be held earlier due to inconveniences. On Christmas morning it is traditional to open presents, a sign of 'love thy neighbour' or Jesus being put on Earth as a gift from God. Schools perform the nativity play, telling the story of Jesus' birth. It is a dramatisation of the Christmas Crib, modelling Jesus in the stable surrounded by animals , angels, Mary and Joseph etc. Pantomimes hold the theme of good conquering evil. A saviour will always come, which represents Jesus. The Epiphany occurs on January 6th,the time when the wise men (Magi) gave Jesus the gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh . The Easter Cycle begins with Ash Wednesday (Lent). The day before people would eat luxurious food to prepare for fasting. Ash Wednesday marks the dawn of repenting and reflection, thinking of Jesus and the crucifixion. Preparations are made by reading the Bible, fasting or doing good works for such things as charities. ...read more.

Conclusion

In mass, the passing of the paschal candle represents Jesus as the light of the world. An international tradition is receiving eggs , that are sent to people as a symbol of new life in Spring and Jesus. To rejoice, people meet family members, possibly for a pub lunch. The Holy Spirit came onto the apostles and gave them 7 gifts on Whitsun. We traditionally receive confirmation, the coming of the Spirit, to commemorate this incredulous promise from Jesus. Whit Walks are also held, when people march around the streets to sing the praises of the Spirit. Christians should pray for courage for life. People celebrate festivals to remember Jesus' life. Special things are done in accordance to the different celebrations. It is important to carry on these traditions to remember the fundamental meaning of our faith, Jesus. Other people celebrate festivals to have a good time, which is almost as important as the religious aspect. In conclusion, festivals can be celebrated in many different ways, publicly or privately. No specific rule tells you how to celebrate these reminiscent occasions of Jesus life, so thousands of celebrations take place in several denominations. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Christmas section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Christmas essays

  1. Explain why Christmas is an important festival for Christians, and Identify and explain ways ...

    Also Angels told Shepard's at watch in their fields that Mary was to give birth to baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Christians have many different ways of commemorating and celebrating Christmas. Lots of things stand as symbols during the Christmas time for example presents show the gifts the three wise men

  2. 'Describe and explain how Advent and Christmas are celebrated by one Christian denomination'.

    In fact, the date of the 25th December originated from the date of a heathen celebration of the return of the Sun, as the exact date of the birth of Christ is unknown. Also, this media distortion of the festival has affected the way the new generations of people see Christmas.

  1. Examine how different writers present the theme of Christmas

    It makes the poem much more comical and gives us childlike images in our heads when we read it. "An angel flew in through the window". It is also an original way of presenting a story that has been told millions of times.

  2. How Christians Interpret And Celebrate The Last Supper Today

    This serves the purpose of remembering the Last Supper and also brings a feeling of closeness with God, Jesus and each other. It will also remind Christians of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Holy Communion has four main meanings.

  1. Christian Festivals - Christmas

    Whilst in Luke's version, the angels appeared to the shepherds to tell them Christ had been born (2:8-20). Luke has used the shepherds because they were seen as outcasts in society. Luke is showing that Jesus was concerned about this society and that he cared for them.

  2. Festivals Coursework:Lent, Holy Week and Easter

    Ash is also a general sign of penitence. This means being sorry for doing something wrong and making things up for it next time round. This is fully keeping in with the spirit of Lent. On the morning of Ash Wednesday, a special Eucharist is held, and the sign of

  1. infertility essay

    In 1974, the Pope wrote in the Document on Procured Abortion:- "From the time that the ovum is fertilised a new life is begun which is neither that of the father or the mother. It is the life of a new human being with its own growth.

  2. Christian Festivals

    ornaments or objects that represent Old Testament events from creation to the birth of Jesus. The last Advent custom is the Christingle. The Christingle is a decorated Orange with a red ribbon, sweets and nuts and in the middle a small candle is placed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work