History of the Forty Days of Christmas
The entire Christmas Cycle is a crescendo of Christ’s manifesting Himself as God and King — to the shepherds, to the Magi, at His Baptism, to Simeon and the prophetess, Anna (Luke 2).
The days from the Feast of the Nativity to the Epiphany are known as “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. But Christmas doesn’t end as a season — i.e., the celebration of the events of Christ’s life as a child don’t end, and the great Christmas Cycle doesn’t end – until Candlemas on 2 February. On the 2nd February the New born Christ enters His temple, He is offered to the Father and He fulfils the requirements of His own Laws. God enters the temple really and truly wrapped in our humanity. At that time, Christmastide truly ends. So,
Dear Friends You will notice that the Nativity Scenes and Christmas decorations will remain in the church until Candlemas – Feast of the Presentation of The Lord, 2nd February 2018.
During the Candlemas Mass on 2nd February 2018, at 7.00pm in St Stwithun’s church, Father blesses all of the candles that will be used in the church throughout the year. If you would like to bring your own candles to be blessed, you are more than welcome to do so.
|Christmas||Christ is born|
|Feast of the Holy Innocents||Herod slaughters the baby boys in order to kill the Christ Child|
|The Circumcision (the Octave of Christmas)||Jesus follows the Law|
|Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus||after He is circumcised, He is named and becomes a part of the Holy Family|
|Twelfth Night||The Twelve Days of Christmas as a Feast come to an end|
|Feast of the Epiphany||Jesus reveals His divinity to the three Magi, and during His Baptism, and at the wedding at Cana|
|Baptism of Our Lord||Octave of the Epiphany|
|Feast of the Purification (Candlemas)||40 days after giving birth, Mary goes to the Temple to be purified and to fulfil the laws as per the Old Testament Law of the firstborn. Christmas ends as a Season with Candlemas. During the Candlemas Mass father blesses all of the candles that will be used in the church throughout the year. If you would like to bring your own candles to be blessed, you are more than welcome to do so.|