Luke, Linus and the Nativity

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As a service to our readers who missed the Charlie Brown Christmas Special due to its pre-emption by Obama’s speech on Afghanistan.  ABC will show the Christmas Special on December 8th at 8:00 PM, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The words of Linus are of course taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

When I was a boy the Charlie Brown Christmas Special was my favorite TV Christmas Special.  As a man, I agree.

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8 Comments

  1. I’m so glad that you posted this–when I was a kid, this is what started me down the path toward Christianity that culminated, more than two decades later, in my coming into the Church. The beauty of the passage, along with its crystal-clear separation between it and the fluff and trash all about, struck me even as pre-teen. Glorious stuff!

  2. Thank you Bruce. I have always found the stark simplicity of the presentation of the central truth of Christianity vastly appealing.

  3. This is one of the most beloved Christmas shows of all time (and one of my favorites as well), but when it was first produced in 1965 for CBS, the network execs were certain it would be a ratings disaster. They were uncomfortable with Linus’ lengthy Scripture reading and wanted it shortened but “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz insisted that it be left in in its entirety.

    Schulz was a devout Christian all his life and so many of his Peanuts strips touched on religious themes that a popular book called “The Gospel According to Peanuts” was published about them in the early 70s.

    Another piece of Peanuts-related Christmas trivia: one of my favorite secular Christmas tunes as a kid was “Snoopy’s Christmas” by The Royal Guardsmen, a sequel to “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron.” I had a 45 rpm record of “Snoopy’s Christmas” that I played to death all year long!

  4. Thanks for the tip on the next broadcast. I’ll be working, but I have it on DVD. It’s remarkable that Linus’ recitation went over so well without fluffy music, only dead silence. How fitting that it’ll be on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, even if it’s probably coincidental.

  5. Thanks cminor! I’ve already watched the You Tube clip with segments of Peanuts cartoons.

    In the words of the Red Baron, “Merry Christmas mein friend!” :=)

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