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Weekly Bulletin December 27, 2020
by Terrie Evans
On this Sunday, the Feast of Holy Family, Holy Family Parish celebrates Jesus, Mary and Joseph who are considered as a model for all Christian families. Every year, Holy Family holds this day as a special celebration honoring the holiest of families and all that characterized their common life at Nazareth. Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and her chaste spouse, Joseph lived the Christian reflection around the virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Chastity and Loving Obedience. The episodes from this period of Christ’s life are narrated by Matthew and Luke with this time covering His circumcision and the Presentation, the flight to Egypt, the return to Nazareth and The Finding in the Temple. Members of the Holy Family are the patrons of the Congregation of the Holy Cross with the Holy Cross Sisters dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, The Holy Cross Brothers dedicated to St. Joseph and the Priests of the Holy Cross devoted to the Holy Family.
On Thursday, December 31st, we celebrate New Years Eve and St. Sylvester’s Night. Many will celebrate this evening eating lentils and wearing something with the color red to bring good luck for the New Year. The Feast of St. Sylvester (San Silvestro) is celebrated to honor the priest who was born in Rome and became the spiritual director to the Emperor Constantine. He was known for his hospitality for the Christians who were passing through Rome by inviting them to eat at his table and giving them Charity in the name of Christ. He is considered the patron saint of people in authority who are experiencing delicate situations and is venerated in Pisa where he was considered a great Pope.
On Friday, we welcome 2021 while celebrating New Years Day and the first day of the Gregorian year. There will be certain foods eaten and an ancient Roman New Years tradition is to gift family and friends with branches of greenery for good luck. In pre-Christian Rome, the day was dedicated to Janus, the god of gateways and new beginnings, for whom the 1st month of the year, January is named. On this day in Anglican and Lutheran Churches, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ is honored. This commemoration is based on the belief that if Jesus was born on December 25th, and according to Hebrew tradition, his circumcision would have taken place on January 1st, the 8th day of his life. The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on this day.