“The Church would have us enjoy this <Christmas> season now that it is here, and celebrate the feasts that follow.” ~Mary Reed Newland “The Year and Our Children”
December 24th/25th: Celebrate the birth of our Lord!
- Attend Mass. Christmas Vigil Mass will be December 24th at 5 p.m. and Christmas morning Mass will be at 10:30 a.m.
- Read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Gospel of Luke.
- Commit to celebrating the Christmas season. The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 9 in 2021). During this season, we celebrate the birth of Christ into our world and into our hearts, and reflect on the gift of salvation that is born with Him. Leave your Christmas decorations and lights up through the whole season.
- Make a birthday cake for Jesus!
December 26: Celebrate St. Stephen
St. Stephen was one of the first deacons in the early Church and became an early martyr when he was put to death because of his faith just a few years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. This feast is technically suppressed for the Sunday Feast of the Holy Family this year, but you can still celebrate!
- Read about St. Stephen.
- Eat a traditional meal for St. Stephen’s day like this stew made from leftover turkey and ham. Here’s a recipe from The Country Cooking of Ireland.
- Since St. Stephen was one of the first deacons, this day has traditionally been one on which to honor all deacons. Email or mail a note of thanks to our own deacon, Tom Hardie, for his ministry to our parish.
December 26: Celebrate The Holy Family
The Feast of the Holy Family is a day to honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and reflect on what more we can do to make our own families holy.
- Work as a family to make a favorite meal or dessert, or have a family “potluck” in which each family member contributes one part of the meal.
- Pray the Consecration to the Holy Family.
- Choose a fun activity to do as a family.
December 27th: Celebrate St. John the Evangelist
As one of the twelve apostles, St. John was with Jesus at the most important moments of Jesus’ ministry. John’s New Testament writings include one of the four Gospels, three letters, and the Book of Revelation.
- Read about St. John the Evangelist.
- Wine is traditionally blessed on the feast of St. John in remembrance of the legend that St. John safely drank poisoned wine offered to him by his enemy after blessing it. Bless and share a cup of wine.
- Pray to be a faithful disciple like St. John.
- Eat fried food. Romans attempted to martyr St. John by boiling him in hot oil. Traditionally, fried foods are eaten to mark this date!
December 28th: Celebrate the Holy Innocents
The Holy Innocents are the children who were slaughtered by the tyrant Herod because he feared one of them might be the newborn rival king (Jesus).
- Read about the Holy Innocents.
- Eat pudding for dessert. The traditional dessert for this feast is a white pudding with a red raspberry sauce, which symbolizes both the purity of the Holy Innocents and their martyrdom. Other options include a white cake or vanilla ice cream with raspberry or strawberry sauce.
- Bless your children or grandchildren.
December 31/January 1: Celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
- Attend Mass. Mass at St. Anthony at 5 p.m. on December 31st.
- Read about this feast day.
- Pray the Canticle of Mary (Magnificat).