One of the joys of being Catholic is that we accord our great feast days all the festivity they deserve.
For us, Christmas is not merely a one-day event that is over as soon as it has begun.
In fact, while Christmas Day itself is the 25th, the Feast really lasts a full 8 days: an octave. The Church celebrates her most sacred feasts with octaves. In the current calendar, Christmas and Easter have their own octaves, and in the older calendar, feasts such as Pentecost did as well.
And the season of Christmas doesn’t end after the octave. Our celebrations continue through the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” which end on the Feast of the Epiphany—January 6th, though it is often transferred to the Sunday between January 2nd and January 8th.
And still, we keep celebrating.
According to the current calendar of the Church, the Christmas season doesn’t end until the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, which usually occurs on the Sunday following Epiphany.
According to the older calendar, the Christmas season goes all the way through February 2nd, the Feast of Candlemas. Also called the Purification of Our Lady, or the Presentation of Our Lord, this feast commemorates the day Our Lady went to the Temple to fulfill the requirements of the Mosaic Law forty days after Our Lord’s birth.
Christmas is a season, not just a day. The Church invites us to celebrate this most glorious mystery of our redemption with weeks of rejoicing. Another happy effect of this arrangement is that we are able to observe Advent with a certain reserve, penitence, and anticipation—to use it as a true spiritual preparation for Christmas joy and festivities.
Even though the world forgets Christmas on December 26th, we encourage you to keep those decorations up and continue exulting with the angels at the coming of the Savior to earth!
You can keep your whole year focused on Christ and the beautiful seasons of His Church with a 2022 Saints Calendar & 16 Month Planner. Featuring classic art, reminders of feast days and holy days, and fascinating Catholic traditions, this is the perfect accessory for a Catholic desk at home or in the office. Available today at The Catholic Company!