Christmas is one of the most important days of the Church year, second only to Easter itself. It is the feast of the incarnation, the feast of God becoming flesh (from the Latin “in carne”, or “enfleshment”). It is a uniquely Christian teaching, the Divine choosing to become one of us. Because of this belief, God is not only Transcendant, but also wholly Immanent, Emmanuel, “God-with-us”.
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, including the fact that he was born to die for us.
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, 2022).
A Christmas Message from Bishop Mark
“Thanks be to God for the Mother of God, the one who is called Immaculate Conception. How many Hail Mary’s
have gone her way this past year? And thanks be to God for Saint Joseph who slept well, and lived life
so well because he shared all of his questions, challenges, and burdens with the Lord in prayer.
And that’s the same Lord that Joseph watched over in the stable in Bethlehem.”
Proclaim! TV Christmas Special - "Joy To The World"
In its present form, the custom of displaying figures depicting the birth of Jesus Christ owes its origin to Saint Francis of Assisi, who made the Christmas crèche or manger for Christmas Eve of 1223.
The origins of the Christmas tree are found in the medieval mystery plays that depicted the tree of paradise and the Christmas light or candle that symbolized Christ, the Light of the world.
Feast of the Epiphany
The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus. It focuses primarily on this revelation to the Three Wise Men, but also at His Baptism in the Jordan and at the wedding at Cana.
The traditional date of Epiphany is January 6, but is celebrated in the United States on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8.