What is the Christmas Season?
Christmas is the celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus; the Word made flesh. Our celebration of the Christmas season begins on the evening of December 24 with the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and ends on The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This extended liturgical season is the fulfillment of the preparation, anticipation and quiet longing we experience during Advent. The mood changes from one of stillness and hope, to one of joyful celebration filled with love and gratitude, wonder and awe, family and communal togetherness. The liturgical color for the season of Christmas is white, symbolizing purity and joy.
The Christmas season is filled with Solemnities and Feast days. During the Feast of the Holy Family we honor the family of Jesus and celebrate the Holy family as the model for all families. During the Solemnity of Mary we commemorate the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Solemnity of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Christ to the world and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord signifies the purification of the world through Christ himself. The numerous Feasts and Solemnities that occur during the Christmas season highlight the extended nature of the season and the sanctity of the domestic church.
The Christmas season is the time for us to allow all that we hoped and longed for throughout Advent to take hold of us. Our hearts are filled with the love of God by the completely vulnerable and precious infant Jesus. By welcoming and accepting the weakness and humanity of Jesus, we learn to accept and love our own human weaknesses and limitations. We long to share with one another every aspect of our humanity, our happiness and joy, as well as our loneliness and brokenness. We are reminded that the greatest gift we have to give is the love God has given to each of us.
At St. Laurence
We see the season as a time of great joy, happiness, togetherness and celebration. Emphasis is placed on Christmas as a “season” rather than as “a day.” By having honored the true spirit of Advent we are now ready to celebrate! It is a time for families to reconnect and spend time with one another. It is also a time to joyfully celebrate with our friends and neighbors. Because the Christmas season is a time to honor our humanity, we should forget neither our own brokenness nor that of others. We must be mindful that for some, the Christmas season may be a time of loneliness or sadness. We must be sensitive to the struggles of the human condition and willing to walk with others with compassion.
We encourage ministries to:
Celebrate with joy the birth of our Savior
Support activities that foster the domestic church
Reach out to those who may feel forgotten
We encourage parishioners to:
Come to understand Christmas as a season rather than as a single day
Participate joyfully in the Solemnities and Feast Days of the season
Give generously of ourselves to our families and those in need