Merry Christmas!

A Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to all! May Our Lord abundantly bless you and your families and fill your hearts with joy during this grace-filled celebration of Our Lord’s Nativity!

Remember that the celebration of Christmas does not end the day after Christmas; the Church celebrates Christmas time all the way up until the Feast of the Epiphany. The Mystery of the Incarnation cannot be adequately celebrated (or contemplated) in one day, so the Church gives us several.

The Solemnity of Christmas is one of those important Feasts within the Church that has an octave attached to it: eight days that are celebrated as one day. Even after the octave of Christmas, Christmas time continues until January 6th.

The fact that Christmas continues to be celebrated after Christmas day can be easily overlooked because the day after Christmas the secular world has already stowed away the decorations until next year. In the stores, the Christmas decorations go up at the beginning of November and come down the day after Christmas. (I assume that the reason for this is to get people thinking about Christmas shopping.) In the Church we do the opposite. We celebrate four weeks of Advent, the time leading up to Christmas in which we prepare our hearts for the Birth of Our Savior, and during that time the Church is relatively unadorned. Then, the Church puts up Christmas decorations the day before Christmas, so that the Church will be ready for Christmas vigil Masses, and the decorations stay up all the way until “Little Christmas,” Epiphany, the day we celebrate the adoration of the Magi.

May the joy of Our Lord fill your heart every day of Christmas time and may He bless you throughout the New Year.

God bless,
Father White

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