As Catholics, we know there’s so much more to Christmas than simply Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and presents. With the beginning of Advent, the season of waiting for the birth of Jesus starts for the Christian people.
For the Roman Catholic faith, this celebration is elaborately commemorated, with a number of specific observances held during the four weeks leading up to Christmas to prepare for Christ’s birth.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the most significant traditions Catholics celebrate to prepare them to receive the spirit of Jesus during the Christmas season.
Attending Special Masses
During the holidays, congregations may host a number of special masses. In the Catholic faith, this usually manifests in the form of midnight mass on the evening between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Many churches go all out for Midnight Mass, which frequently incorporates the Gospel of Luke’s famous Christmas tale. These masses are usually the most lavish celebration of the entire Christmas season for many churches, and families with small children are urged to attend.
The Immaculate Conception
On the eighth day of December, Catholics commemorate the sinless conception of Baby Jesus by Mother Mary. On this day, known as the Immaculate Conception, the Catholic Church celebrates one of the most important feasts of the liturgical calendar. Catholics are required to attend mass on this day, which should be viewed as a time for the faithful to spend time with loved ones. To celebrate the immaculate conception of Jesus, many Catholics hold a grand feast to share with dear friends and family.
Bless the Home
On the Feast of the Epiphany, which takes toward the end of the Advent season, Catholics traditionally bless their homes and their families. If you choose to bless your house, you acknowledge God’s generosity in giving us a place to call home. These blessings do not serve as magical formulas meant to heal all wounds and pain. Rather, blessings serve to remind us of all that God has given us through the sacrifices of Jesus – it’s about how we live in the homes we’ve blessed. These blessings should be seen as a request for God’s protection and guidance.
Advent marks the beginning of a time in the liturgical calendar that includes a number of significant feast days before the Feast of the Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season in early January. How will you and your family be celebrating the Christmas season this year?