THE TIME OF CHRISTMAS
cHRISTMAS AND IT'S SEASON
It begins with evening prayer on Christmas Eve (December 24th) and ends with midday on January 5th.
Christmas tells the story of Jesus as the long-awaited King who has finally come to save us. Jesus, God's Son, the King of heaven and earth, is born in Bethlehem-the Son of God is a baby lying in a manger.
The evening services of Christmas Eve mark the beginning of the Church's celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord. The season continues after December 25th over a period traditionally known as twelve days of Christmas. The season includes a number of lesser festivals. The Festival of St. Stephen, the first martyr, occurs on December 26th. The death of babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18) is observed on December 28th as the Festival of the Holy Innocents. The circumcision and naming of Jesus on the eighth day after His birth (Luke 2:21) is celebration on Jan 1st.
At Christmas, we worship our God made flesh.
Luke 2:1-24 | John 1:1-18 | Galatians 4:4-5
CHRISTMAS PRACTICES AND TRADITIONS
- We sing the Gloria in Excelsis and join the angels at Christmas in their Hymn of Praise: "Glory be to God on high: and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men."
- The color of Christmas and its season is white, symbolizing the divinity, eternity, purity, light, joy of Jesus Christ.
- Many Christians celebrate with special services during the Christmas season. A special Divine Service late on Christmas Eve reminds us how the angels announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds who were "keeping watch over their flock by night. "Christmas Day, we celebrate the word of God made flesh and receive Him in the Means of Grace. On January 1st, eight days after His birth, we gather in worship to begin the year in His name, Jesus, which means "the Lord saves," for He has come to save His people from their sins.