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  #1  
Unread 27th December 2009, 09:16 PM
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Question How Long Does Christmas Last?

Well, no matter how many sources I check online and elsewhere, apparently NOONE WANTS TO SAY the exact dates and duration of the Christmas season. You would think that such a fundamental holiday of Catholicism would have abundant information about itself stored up in the thousands of Catholic servers across the globe, BUT NO, that would make too much sense. [/exasperation]

My question is, what are the exact first and last days of Christmas, and how long does it last? I would greatly appreciate knowing this tidbit of Catholic information, esp. to combat claims that, since the 25th of December is past, it's "no longer Christmas." Thank you so much.
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  #2  
Unread 27th December 2009, 10:09 PM
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Octave. 8 days.
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  #3  
Unread 27th December 2009, 11:12 PM
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Advent ended sundown on Dec 24. The Christmas season began sundown Dec. 24 with vespers. Source (a monk).

The close of the Christmas season in 2010 is with vespers on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010.

Sunday Jan. 10 is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and ends the Christmas season. The end of the feast is at vespers. Compline on Jan. 10 begins Ordinary Time. Source and More Confirmation. And note, this is in the USA. We have a different practice than other places, I think.

I hope this is correct! A liturgical expert can correct any errors, please.
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Last edited by Via Cassian; 27th December 2009 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Added additional info and sources
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  #4  
Unread 27th December 2009, 11:29 PM
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Well, I could definitely be wrong... I was setting the liturgy books this morning and everything talked about the "octave" of Christmas...

But then again, I feel like epiphany seals the end of it.

I am confused now.
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  #5  
Unread 27th December 2009, 11:38 PM
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My RCIA director gave me a liturgical calendar that has Christmas ending on January 10 with the solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord.
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  #6  
Unread 27th December 2009, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Gwendolyn View Post
Well, I could definitely be wrong... I was setting the liturgy books this morning and everything talked about the "octave" of Christmas...

But then again, I feel like epiphany seals the end of it.

I am confused now.
Yes, I think you are right about the Octave also having some type of designation as an "end." But how that works, I do not know. My sense is that there are layers of beginnings and endings in the Christmas season that have to do with history. I would have enjoyed being able to go the USCCB web page and finding the answer and an explanation. It may be there, but this old guy could not find it.
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  #7  
Unread 28th December 2009, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jared R View Post
My RCIA director gave me a liturgical calendar that has Christmas ending on January 10 with the solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord.
Hey, while we're talking about this stuff I have a question about the term "solemnity" vs. "feast." I used solemnity above, but I wanted to make sure I was using it correctly so I looked it up. According to CatholicReference.net : Catholic Dictionary there are 14 solemnities (the Baptism of the Lord not being one of them) and they're the highest rank of feasts. However, I was taught in RCIA that "solemnity" and "feast" are interchangeable. I googled "solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord" and apparently that is used commonly. Maybe someone could shed some light on this while we're (kind of) on the subject?
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  #8  
Unread 28th December 2009, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Jared R View Post
Hey, while we're talking about this stuff I have a question about the term "solemnity" vs. "feast." I used solemnity above, but I wanted to make sure I was using it correctly so I looked it up. According to CatholicReference.net : Catholic Dictionary there are 14 solemnities (the Baptism of the Lord not being one of them) and they're the highest rank of feasts. However, I was taught in RCIA that "solemnity" and "feast" are interchangeable. I googled "solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord" and apparently that is used commonly. Maybe someone could shed some light on this while we're (kind of) on the subject?

The Benedictine liturgy of the hours book I use, Benedictine Daily Prayer, use solemnities as the highest rank of feast.

Here is a Zenit article that gives more information
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  #9  
Unread 28th December 2009, 12:33 AM
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I always thought it was 12 days, from Christmas onwards - hence the 12 days of Christmas. I just checked in Wikipedia and that says that from 25 December to 5 January is the period known as Christmastide. But then Wikipedia could be wrong as well.

It has always annoyed me how people speak of the 12 days of Christmas being 12 days before Christmas, when it should be 12 days after Christmas.
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  #10  
Unread 28th December 2009, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Caedmon View Post
what are the exact first and last days of Christmas, and how long does it last?
I would greatly appreciate knowing this tidbit of Catholic information,
esp. to combat claims that, since the 25th of December is past, it's "no longer Christmas."
the 1st. & last day of *Christmas* lasts but one day??

Here I've been living Christmas-*spirit* 365 days, as Christ us taught. - much more rewarding inside. Cheers!

Last edited by sk8Joyful; 28th December 2009 at 01:40 AM.
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