Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – pray for us!

Today’s   Feast of the Holy Family   is one more way of celebrating the birth of Jesus. As you hopefully already knew, Christmas is not just one day of the year. In the Catholic Church it extends for eight days: the Octave of Christmas. That eight-day feast is part of the whole Christmas season, which ends on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 11, 2009 this time).

Here is a link to what the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops put together for celebrating Advent and Christmas:

http://www.usccb.org/advent/index.shtml

You can click any of the days in the calendar and go to readings and reflections for that day. For example, today’s entry includes a link to another Web site, one that also is sponsored by the USCCB:

http://www.foryourmarriage.org

That’s a very fitting site to notice on the Feast of the Holy Family (whether you are married now or might one day be married). The “For Your Marriage” site has “Daily Marriage Tips” a fact that prompted me today to figure out how to put an RSS feed in the sidebar of this blog – another new step in my blogging adventures.

And don’t forget  about the movie “Fireproof” and all of the accompanying materials available at

http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com

On a very much related subject, here is a file that I found while looking for something else today:

http://www.hli.org/responsible_man_woman.pdf

You might want to share it with the unmarried people you know, including teens who are eager to begin dating. And that reminds me of this site, from popular guests (Jason and Crystalina Evert) on EWTN:

http://www.chastity.com

(Also known as http://www.pureloveclub.com)

Those and many other resources are available to help build holy, healthy, and happy families! But don’t forget the first and best of all resources: God! He’s available 24-7 through prayer, including through the intercession of the angels and saints who are always willing to assist us.

I just realized there is more to explain about today’s feast. Because this is the first Sunday after the first day of Christmas, it is the Feast of the Holy Family. But in other years when the 28th of December is not on a Sunday, December 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents (the children killed by order of King Herod after he learned of the search the wise men were making for the newborn King). Let us pray with those innocent children on behalf of all the innocent children killed in modern times by abortion and infanticide.

Here is the link to a site with further descriptions of the feasts celebrated during this holy season:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/
view.cfm?id=996

And here are some blog posts and other Web sites that turned up with the term “Christmas octave” in a search engine. I’ve skimmed them but not read thoroughly, so please let me know if any should be removed from here:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/christmas.html

http://orthfullycatholic.blogspot.com/2008/01/christmas-octave.html

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/12/wdtprs-sunday-in-the-octave-of-christmas-holy-family-2002mr/

http://www.saintmarycathedral.org/The_Octave.htm

http://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas1.html

https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/351/
Holy_Family_in_the_21st_Century.html

https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/318/
The_Feast_of_the_Holy_Family.html

http://crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/352/
Key_to_the_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas.html

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture//liturgicalyear/calendar/
day.cfm?date=2008-01-01

http://www.ourladyofsorrows.com/The12DaysofChristmas.pdf

http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2008/12/today-is-fourth-day-of-christmas-and.html

http://www.churchyear.net/holyfamilyprayers.html

http://www.2heartsnetwork.org/HolyFamily.htm

http://www.breviary.net/ordo/ordo2008/ord0812.htm

http://www.bible.claret.org/liturgy/xmas/octavexmas.htm

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Prayer/B2-C-1.html

http://sacredspace.ie/livingspace/C1228/

http://www.cyberfaith.com/calendar/christmas.html

http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=8631

http://www.livingbreadradio.com/news-article.php?newsid=353 
(This one borrows heavily from the Creighton University site at the beginning of this list, but does seem to have its own description of the term “octave” in the first paragraph of its page.)

Added Dec. 29: http://catholicexchange.com/2008/12/29/115026/

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: