Happy holy days!
December 24, 2020
Now we enter the traditional 12 days of Christmas. And they are full of days that are holy on their own. Which is where the holiday greeting comes from, and why it is a much older greeting than Merry Christmas. Here are some suggestions for marking the Holy Days for the coming week:
- December 26th: Stephen’s Day. Stephen the Deacon was the first Christian martyr. Also the day Good King Wenceslaus looked out. Listen to his carol and remember two saints at once.
- December 27th: John’s Day. John was an apostle and author of the Fourth Gospel. Read the prologue of John (John 1:1-18). This year it is also the Feast of Holy Family, which falls the Sunday after Christmas.
- December 28th: Holy Innocents. The day we remember the boys of Bethlehem killed by Herod. Listen to the Coventry Carol.
- December 29th: St. Thomas Beckett. Archbishop of Canterbury killed by the king and buried in the cathedral, which became a place of pilgrimage. Read one of the Canterbury Tales, which are told by pilgrims on the way to his shrine.
- December 31st: Sylvester. Pope when the Emperor Constantine allowed the free practice of Christianity as well as during the days of the Council of Nicea. Pray the Nicean Creed.
- January 1st: Mary, the Mother of God. The 8th day of Christmas is the feast of Mary under her most ancient title, Θεοτόκος (Theotokos). Literally, “God Bearer.” The Cherry Tree Carol would be nice today.