Thursday, 20 June 2024
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Christmas Season

Like any birthday, Christmas is an occasion of great joy and celebration . . .

We give and receive presents to show our joy and love for each other. We give generously to the needy and less well off. We really want everybody to be happy at this time because it is the birthday of the Saviour.

Jesus has come into the world to tell us Good News about God and to show us how and where to find Him. Christmas day is His birthday. . .

On this day the church dresses up in white or gold vestments for Mass. We pray once again the hymn of the angels," Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will." The church is cheerfully decorated with seasonal plants and candles, and the Crib has its special place where we can kneel and reflect for a moment on the wonder of the Incarnation. The Crib, with its figures of Joseph, Mary and the Infant, also provides a not-to-be-missed opportunity to teach children the truth about Christmas.

On Christmas Day the violet candles of the Advent wreath are extinguished and the white Candle of Christmas burns brightly saying to us in a symbolic way that "today is born for us a Saviour, God with us, the light that the darkness cannot overcome."

The Christmas season extends from Christmas Eve to the Baptism of the Lord, usually celebrated on the Sunday after the sixth day of January. The sixth of January is called The Epiphany of the Lord, recording the time when the wise men from the east journeyed to Bethlehem to pay homage to the Messiah of Israel, the Son of God and Saviour of the world. They brought their special gifts to Him and acknowledged Him as their Lord and Saviour, before returning to their own country.

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