Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On the 18th Day of Christmas

By Patricia Coll Freeman
Catholic Anchor (

For an Octave of eight days, twelve days, and even eighteen days, the Church takes Christmas far beyond December 25.

Anchorage, Ak (Catholic Anchor) - Based on the number of Christmas lights, decorated trees and stockings that already appear along storefronts and neighborhood streets, one might think Christmas began the day after Thanksgiving.

According to the Catholic Church, however, the Christmas season runs from Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and ends, almost three weeks later, on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 11.

Along the way, Christians commemorate the miracle of the nativity as well as the mysteries of Jesus’ infancy.

God with us

The celebrations on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 highlight the central “Christmas mystery” – the Incarnation.

As one ancient hymn explains, “the Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal and the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.”

In short, “God is with us,” Father Ron Licayan of St. Mary in Kodiak said in a recent interview with the Anchor.

And there is particular importance in the fact that God was born into a human family, he said. Namely, we can join Christ eternally in the “family of God.”

Jesus even calls us “brothers and sisters,” Father Licayan added.

Fittingly, at the Kodiak parish, Christmas begins with a “family Mass” on Christmas Eve. Then during the weekend of the feast of the Holy Family (celebrated Dec. 28), the church hosts a Christmas party for the whole parish family.


Post a Comment

<< Home