Christmas continues

With all due respect to the unsigned author of your Thursday front page announcement: Final Christmas services scheduled Sunday, I bring tidings of great joy: Christmas is not over! It continues for the full "Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Liturgically, we observe the Octave of Christmas, the day plus seven more days for a total of eight … octave. The Octave ends with the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus, celebrated on January 1st by some Orthodox, some Catholic, and Anglican and Lutheran churches. In Jewish tradition, the name “Jesus” would be given the Child when He is circumcised on the eighth day after His birth. Since 1960, in the Roman Catholic Church, the January 1st Feastday is named for Mary, The Mother of God (Theotokos), to more fully celebrate the octave day of this truly historic birth.

But the Christmas season continues, if not in the secular world, in the churches and hearts of Christians, beyond the Octave: Yuletide extends from Christmas Eve to Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings, January 6th. This day, which celebrates the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh by the Magi to the newly-born King, is also a day celebrated in come countries as "Little Christmas."

So, please continue the celebration and the goodwill.

Jim Stagg Newnan

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