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How Long Does Christmas Last?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Caedmon, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

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    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.
     
  2. Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn back in black

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    Octave. 8 days.
     
  3. Via Cassian

    Via Cassian Benedictine oblate Supporter

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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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  4. Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn back in black

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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.
     
  5. Memento Mori

    Memento Mori Guest

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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.
     
  6. Via Cassian

    Via Cassian Benedictine oblate Supporter

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    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.
     
  7. Memento Mori

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    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?
     
  8. Via Cassian

    Via Cassian Benedictine oblate Supporter

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    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
     
  9. Samaritan74

    Samaritan74 Newbie

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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.
     
  10. sk8Joyful

    sk8Joyful Well-Known Member

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    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 :thumbsup: inside. Cheers! :wave:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  11. Memento Mori

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    That was very helpful. Thanks. :)
     
  12. servant of Merciful Love

    servant of Merciful Love contemplative Supporter

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  13. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

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    I appreciate your comment, and yes, we should live the spirit of Christmas year-round, and this should be the standard for most Christian groups. Catholics take it a step further and have a set schedule of holiday (holy day) seasons throughout the year that tell the story of our Faith. It's like reading a novel with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is not a limitation, but rather a guarantee that we "read" the entire story, every year. And of course, you can recall any of those stories and life lessons with you throughout the year. Peace be with you.
     
  14. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

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  15. Via Cassian

    Via Cassian Benedictine oblate Supporter

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    Excellent article, thanks. I think they hinted at the change that the US Catholics made. I think, but am not sure, that the Baptism of the Lord was changed in the US to be fixed on a Sunday from the past practice of having it move. Again, I wish there was a place where all of this was explained in detail, but the Holy Comforter blog article is the best one I have read so far -- good find.
     
  16. epiclesis

    epiclesis Legend

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    I guess I always thought it was until the Epiphany. :sorry:



    Hi Joe! :wave: :hug:
     
  17. Via Cassian

    Via Cassian Benedictine oblate Supporter

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  18. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

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    She does exist! [/M&Ms commercial]

    :hug:
     
  19. Miss Shelby

    Miss Shelby Legend

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    i thought the title of this said how long does christmas cost? all year would have been my answer.
     
  20. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

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    I'm using Christmas money to pay for new brakes, if that makes you feel any better.
     
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