Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا abouna.org
The month of December started with several celebrations that roamed Jordan's cities and villages. We were proud to see the smiles mapped out on the faces of children, families, and citizens at a time when Christmas trees were lit everywhere in Jordan, this holy country.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah headed to Smakiyah township in southern Jordan, which has a special privacy, while marking an occasion to meet with his brethren, members of the Karaki Christian and Muslim community, that always set the most beautiful models and popular stories of cohesion between Muslims and Christians. The Christmas tree was lit amidst songs, joys, and the ululation of Karaki women. A few days later, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah lit the Fuheis tree, which has become a site visited by Jordanians, especially foreigners, who view Fuheis as a city of harmony and love. His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein received, at the traditional annual meeting, the heads of churches in Jordan and Palestine to express well wishes, as well as to convey a sign of spiritual unity that binds Christians from both sides of the immortal river.
But the atmosphere of jubilation did not last long as violence struck and martyrs fell, so it was later announced that the feast would be confined to religious celebrations or religious rites. This measure urges the faithful to concentrate on the gist of the feast rather on other external manifestations.
Christmasology is a word that has become commonly used, especially by social media, and it means the knowlege relevant to Christmas, because this weather and this season observed every year has its own splendor and its own art through decorations that are gradually developing every year. Customs, traditions, and popular tools are placed on the tree, and consequently there is an introduction of these local cultures into the Christmas tree, just as has been the case, in dear Jordan, in the Christmas tree which was placed by the Amman Municipality at the 5th Circle. This tree was decorated with things relevant to Jordanian heritage. This is what is called cultural dialogue between the local community and Christmas decorations. With the passage of time there will always be a development in the decorations and in the knowledge relevant to Christmas feast.
The grotto of the Nativity was inaugurated by the minister of tourism and antiquities and launched at the Dead Spa Hotel. How great was the invitation extended by the hotel management to launch the largest Christmas grotto. Alongside the tree, a Christmas grotto was located which perhaps reflects the closest meanings of Christmas, because it contains Christmas figures. What is remarkable is that it is a message extended from the lowest spot on Earth, namely below sea level. It is an impressive message which indicates that Jordan celebrates Christmas, sends a message of love and peace, and that it is also not far from the Baptism Site of Lord Jesus Christ. Consequently, the visitors can keep in mind that as they visit Bethlehem and enjoy the prayers recited in the birth city of Jesus, they do not forget as well to visit the Baptism Site. It is an embodiment of the grotto and the nativity, in addition to an invitation to visit this country which is proud of being a holy one.
Members of the Hungarian Saint Angela Choir came to Jordan especially to take part in eves of hymns, alongside the Jordanian Fountain of Love Choir, to sing Christmas hymns with their wonderful voices in our beloved Jordan. How truly impressive was this meeting between the two choirs and this joint singing which also reflects the convergence between the East and the West, as well serving as an indicative that the meeting took place in Jordan that constitutes the home of civilizations, culture, harmony, and dialogue.
Finally, the word "luminous" is the most used word on the social media pages. If we want to express admiration for a character or a picture, we use the term 'luminous' as the light reflected is one of the attributes of Christmas. Thus, we address our dear readers saying, "Be luminous with the light of Christmas," because the star that shone over Bethlehem is the one that lights our hearts so that we can view every person as a brother and a sister of ours in humanity and in faith in the One God.
My Christmas bright light be revealed in you.