Merry Christmas to each of you and your families! As we celebrate these Holy Days, be assured that I remember and include all of you in my prayers and masses. One of the blessings of Christmas is the beautiful tradition of the Octave (eight days)! As a Christian community, we celebrate the eight days, the Octave of Christmas as if we were celebrating Christmas! Now that is a beautiful gift!
The whole world things that Christmas ends on the 25th of December. Not at all! They’re wrong! Christmas, my friends, is just beginning! The celebration commences on the 25th and runs for 8 whole days through January 1st. Then we finish the Christmas Season Leave the tree up! Leave the lights and the wreaths out! Keep out all the decorations beautifying your home! In fact, leave them up until we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord (when we celebrate Jesus being baptized by John in the Jordan) on January 10th. You went to all this work setting things up for Christmas! Let’s leave them up the whole Christmas Season!
Remember that this celebration is a Christian celebration! We write the rules of how we can celebrate! The world is the happy recipient of our Feasts and celebrations. You’re welcome, world! But don’t come and tell us to take down our decorations or stop celebrating Christmas on the 26th of December! This is our Feast, our celebration! Let’s celebrate our redemption, our salvation, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who was born to us in that stable in Bethlehem!
PS – Don’t be surprised if you hear me greet you on December 29th or January 5th with “Merry Christmas”! Maybe we should all do that! From December 25 – January 10, let’s start a St. James tradition – greeting one another with “Merry Christmas” throughout the whole Christmas Season!
Happy New Year
2020 is coming to a close this week and 2021 is upon us! What a bizarre and strange year this has been! Each of us were stretched beyond what we thought possible in many ways. I don’t know if the challenges will continue. I don’t have a crystal ball. But, I sure am glad that I get to face another year with you, as a member of this St. James Catholic family! No matter what 2021 brings, we will walk through it together as a family of faithful disciples of Jesus Christ! We journey together. No one is alone. No matter what this New Year will bring, I am confident that together we will grow as disciples of Jesus Christ, as a community who worships together, prays, studies the Scriptures and Sacred Doctrine, engages in Holy Fellowship building community, and serves the poor and needy. I look forward with hope and excitement to 2021 because I am with you.
May the Lord Jesus bless you and your families abundantly on this Feast of the Holy Family!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin