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bie Dor ham Clmnts" Published Every Triesday and Piidasy 66th Year. -FRIDAY,? DEGE\MBER- 23, 1938. Spirit and Festival of Christmas . - Around Christmastide :centres the ·World's most tender :and happy com meinoration, ford tlis essentialily a sea 'son of peace and'.goodvwill,=a period of forgetting and 'forgiving,. and'- a time to .extend the hand ,of fellowship to every bne. - According to-an-histor ian, "Christmas; like nearly:all Christ ion festivals, was -derived' from -pagan feasts;, Iniaty f thbem dating back -to time :itninembrial; it was adopted by the early Christian fathers as a means of tiransforming a pagan` festival into a Christian one." This festive season has- a vast influence-:upon the:,people. The hurts .and "wrongs and;injustices of -the ,past -twelve -months :somehow vanish: as December 25 a'iives. It is the spiritual power that sways the in vgid~ual, ,who, in ,a happier, and -freer breathing space, is in' tune with the Infinite. Why, must :the. spirit of Christmastide be-so0transient<? There are .365 days that -could equally 'and easily be similarlycelebrated: A touch ing .incident is ,:ecorded in the great war-jwhen;- on;the -first: Christmas, :a British 'battalion and a German- bat talion assembled in the one trench and with Chrstmas songs, lustily sung, they honored each other's good health. The writer of the incident said, "Some people will .even tell you that the war etery nearly ended that -day. But such a hiappy eniding wasanot to be_ ;The stern:business of killing had to go on." It iSi a.grave pity that the Christmas sentiment is 'not '.always with the world. .'Utopia wouldthen be a reality, rhe -iealism of poets and :?reachers the 'brotherhood of nan~"--would also be uslhered in and man would ;attain to ;his?-ighest .ideals., The: p-resenta tion :of coral singing into -these mod erin days comes as 'a benediction -to the troubled world and .the sweet voices of men and women act sooth ingly as a. vesper hymn early on Christmas morning. Christmas carols were first sung about the 13th cen tury, priests privately participating. So popular did they become that -dur ing the festive celebrations,- servants, shepherds and `loighmen ;sang :them in farm houses; The Puritans tried to discourage carol singing, but the practice was ?revived ati th ReRstora tioU. Carolsi were -like the songs of angels whispering~, 'P6ace. on earth, goodwill to men, from Heaven's all gracioius King." : The wish to all who read these lines is for a royal, happy care-free time during the; joyous :fes tiye period..

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State Library of Victoria
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