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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

This Christmas

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Spirited but somewhat pat family drama in which a well heeled African-American clan gathers for the holidays at the Los Angeles home of their mother (Loretta Devine) and her companion (Delroy Lindo) who then try to help the oldest daughter (Regina King) cope with her domineering husband (Laz Alonso) -- as well as with the tension between him and her younger sister (Sharon Leal) -- ignore the amorous antics of a third sister (Lauren London) and her visiting boyfriend (Keith Robinson), and attempt to convince the eldest son (Idris Elba) to quit his wandering ways, while two younger sons (Columbus Short and Chris Brown) struggle to find the courage to reveal their closely held secrets. Writer-director-producer Preston A. Whitmore II deftly interweaves the various elements of the plot while adding welcome strands of humor and music to produce, overall, a very pleasant tapestry. A scene of domestic violence, some sexual references and humor, some crude and crass language, implied nonmarital sex and cohabitation, themes of divorce and skimpy costuming. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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All Saints: The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (<i>On the Calculation of Time</i>). 
<p>But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost. </p><p>How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast, now recognized as a solemnity, in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.</p> American Catholic Blog Touch can be an act of kindness when someone is dying. If you visit a sick person and find that you are at a loss for words, reach out and touch her hand.

 
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