January 1: Octave Day of Christmas

Andrea Mantegna, 1461

Today is the Octave Day of Christmas (aka New Year), and one of those feasts that have gone through a few incarnations in recent years.

Traditionally, today is the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord. The feast celebrates the first time the blood of Christ was shed, and thus the beginning of the process of the redemption of man. It also serves to demonstrate that Christ was fully human, and his obedience to Biblical law.

In the 1962 Calendar (including the Benedictine Universal Calendar), all of the traditional texts for the feast are retained, but the name is dropped in favour of the Octave Day. In the Novus Ordo calendar, the Feast was dropped altogether, and it has become the Feast of Mary, Mother of God...

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