Christmas Traditions

Holy Supper is a tradition of Slavic Orthodox Christians in central 
Europe and the western parts of Russia. It apparently is a practice 
introduced from Italy.
Holy Supper is a traditional lenten meal on the Eve of the Nativity 
of Our Lord (Christmas Eve). Since Christmas is preceded by forty 
days of fasting, the Holy Supper is the last meal of the fast. The 
twelve fasting foods usually served are: barley, honey, stewed 
prunes, pierogi, sauerkraut, potatoes, lima beans, garlic, Lenten 
bread, mushroom soup and salt. The meal begins with the singing of 
the Christmas troparion (a hymn) and the lighting of a candle placed in the center of the table. The candle symbolizes the star of 
Bethlehem.
The bread is then broken by the father of the house and given to 
everyone present. This symbolizes Christ at the Last Supper. The 
foods range from bitter to sweet to remind us of the bitterness of 
life before Christ was born and the sweetness of life which comes 
after His birth. The number 12 symbolizes the twelve apostles. When 
the meal is finished all attend the Christmas Eve vigil.

CHANGING A LIGHT BULB THE CHRISTIAN WAY

Or: How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

Charismatic: Only one. Hands already in the air.

Pentecostals: Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians: None. Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman Catholic: Four. The pope who makes the decision to change the light bulb. A Cardinal who hands down the pope’s directive to the local bishop. The local bishop who orders the priest or pastoral assistant to change the bulb.

Baptists: At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad.

Episcopalians: Three. One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Mormons: Five. One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians: We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday Service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists: Undetermined. Whether your light is bright, dull or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb or tulip bulb. Church-wide lighting service is planned for Sunday. Bring bulb of your choice and a covered dish.

Nazarene: Six. One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

Lutherans: None. Lutherans don’t believe in change.

Greek Orthodox: The whole congregation. The priest changes the light bulb. Then all faithful celebrate with red wine, Ouzo, Gyros, Souvlaki, Baklava, etc. to turn it into an ancient tradition of the annual light creating feast day.

Amish: What is a light bulb?