In the Church we don't have one day of Christmas, we enjoy a season; eight days of celebration and rejoicing during the Octave of Christmas, ending January 1.
The tradition of Western Christians, in particular, incorporates the time from Christmas until the Feast of the Epiphany and even to Feast of the Baptism of Christ as a period of sanctity and remembrance.
It is from this observance that we got the twelve days immortalized in song. Merry Christmas!
From the joy and excitement of yuletide gone by.
The carols and songs of the season have passed,
From the radios, malls, they let nothing last.
On day twenty-six we may think it is done,
But really it was just the day numbered one.
For Christmas is not only twenty and five,
But lasts ‘til the day when the Magi arrive.
As one of tunes of the season does say,
Christmas is definitely more than a day.
For twelve is the count for this season of peace,
But not with a partridge, five rings, or six geese.
The twelve days of Christmas have been with us long,
Through many centuries, not just through a song.
This is the time when my heart wants to say,
“Here is my prayer for you on each day.”
For day number one, my prayer is for love;
Then day number two, for joy from above.
The third day for peace, then patience on four,
The fifth day for kindness, abundantly more.
On day number six may His goodness abound;
For day number seven, His faithfulness found.
Gentleness lived is my prayer for day eight;
Then nine, Self-control by His power, not fate.
Day ten and eleven, I pray for good health
And for meaningful hours of spiritual wealth.
The day labeled twelve brings trust to my mind,
Like those who had followed, not falling behind.
These twelve days of Christmas may you fully be blessed,
Knowing that each day with God is the best.
This life is uncertain, of that we all know,
But close to His Heart is the place He’ll bestow.
May God bless you!
Randy Sly, Catholic Online
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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