Can Catholics Celebrate Hanukkah? (The Patrick Madrid Show)

Can you participate in any Hanukkah celebrations or does this go against Catholic teachings? Don’t worry – Patrick will ease some concerns.

Amanda from Phoenix faces a unique situation. As a Catholic, she is curious about participating in Hanukkah celebrations with her husband’s Jewish family, especially with their first child on the way. She is worried that she would be doing something wrong as a Catholic if she were to celebrate with her husband’s family.

Patrick Madrid clarifies that Hanukkah, unlike certain non-Christian religious ceremonies, isn’t about worship in a way that conflicts with Catholic beliefs. It’s a commemoration of a miraculous event recorded in the Bible, found in the books of 1st and 2nd Maccabees. This event celebrates the Maccabean revolt and the miraculous lighting of the menorah in the temple, symbolizing God’s presence and favor.

However, Patrick also cautions about maintaining the distinction between cultural celebration and religious observance. While participating in Hanukkah festivities as a cultural and familial bonding experience is acceptable, he warns against doing anything that could be construed as adhering to Jewish religious law, as these were fulfilled in the New Covenant through Jesus Christ.

Patrick reassures Amanda that joining in Hanukkah celebrations, particularly as a recognition of a shared biblical miracle, is acceptable from a Catholic viewpoint. It’s an opportunity to celebrate a historical event acknowledged within Catholic scripture, without conflicting with the core tenets of Catholic faith.

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.