Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas

    Even as we watch neighbors disassembling Christmas decorations, we know that Christmas is actually a season of the Church Year that is 12 days long.   In the Western Church Christmas begins on Dec 25 with the Feast of the Nativity (the celebration of the birth of Christ) and ends at Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany (celebration of the coming of the Magi), representing the manifestation of Christ to the whole world… “the Light who has come into the world.” 
    If you follow our lectionary of readings and celebrations on a daily basis, you will note that The 12 Days of Christmas are filled with other commemorations that are hugely significant to the life and witness of God’s Church.  On Dec. 26 it is fitting here at the beginning of the Church Year that we celebrate St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church.  On Dec 27 we commemorate St. John who penned the timeless words, “…the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.”  Dec. 28 is the Feast of the Holy Innocents remembering the children who were slaughtered by Herod, an agent of the dark forces of this world, in a futile attempt by Satan to prevent the “True Light, which enlightens everyone” from coming into the world.  Finally, on Dec. 1 we celebrate the presentation of  Jesus in the temple eight days after His birth, where He is given “the name that is above all names, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and eevy tonguw confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

    So, don’t end your Christmas celebration too quickly…    Fr. Rob

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