Hours of Alice de Reydon - One of the twelve full-page miniatures in this manuscript, sometimes compared to The Queen Mary Psalter in its style, but not by the master. In common with other English depictions of the Ascension, the Virgin Mary and the apostles look on with expressions and gestures of astonishment as Christ's feet disappear into the clouds.
Origins of Christmas: From the Old English 'Cristes Mæsse' ~ meaning the 'mass of Christ' It is taught that Christ was born on the 25th, although the exact month is unknown. December was likely chosen so the Catholic Church could compete with rival pagan rituals held at that time of year - they had a hard time stopping the Roman nobles from worshipping Mithra (the invincible sun) whose birthday feast was on Dec 25 so they said "Hey, that's Jesus' birthday too..."
"The Last Supper", Italy (Faenza), 16th century, Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica). Composed of movable figures, the 'Last Supper' may have been a seasonal decoration, taken out and arranged during the week leading up to Easter Sunday. Christ and the twelve apostles are seated around a table set with maiolica jugs, plates of food, and knives--forks were not yet customary at table. --Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (photo taken 2012.10.07)