Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1: Octave of the Nativity (or whatever happened to the feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord?)


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 became the Feast of Mary, Mother of God....

One would have thought that demonstrating the continuity of the Jewish and Christian religions would have appealed to the reformers, but I guess celebrating obedience to the law and countering both Arianism and gnosticism was not viewed as important back in 1970...and now we continue to reap the consequences.

In Canon law, and in many countries, the start of the new secular year is suitably a Holy Day of Obligation.   And this year, as it falls on a Sunday, there will actually be at least some people in the churches for it...

2 comments:

John Wickstrom said...

😊

Sister Terese Peter, OSB said...

It is a shame that the entire Liturgical Calendar was decimated. Now, we have Ascension Thursday on Sunday. That's a disgrace! Other Holy Days of Obligation have also been transferred to Sunday because "It's too hard for people to get to Mass on Thursday." I just don't get it. When I was teaching and/or principal, we always celebrated the Feasts and Solemnities on the traditional days. Our children received the entire Deposit of the Faith, not a multiple choice version. God help our children now.