The Catholic Church celebrates Christmas for twelve days.
While the Nativity of Our Lord is celebrated Dec. 25, the Twelve days of Christmas begins on Christmas Day, Dec. 25(beginning at sundown), and ends at sunrise on Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. During the Christmas season the priest’s vestments are gold to symbolize the sacredness of the Christmas season. The change in the color of vestments indicates that Advent is over. During Advent, the priest’s vestments are purple to symbolize the holy season of waiting and prayer.
According to legend, the song The Twelve Days of Christmas was actually written by Jesuit priests in England during the sixteenth century. It was a time of persecution and the song was used to secretly teach basic facts regarding the Catholic faith. If someone studied all the items represented in the song they knew the basics of the catholic faith.
Each number had a secret meaning:
Twelve represented the twelve teachings mentioned in the Apostles Creed;
Eleven represented the faithful Apostles;
Ten represented the commandments;
Nine represented the choirs of angels;
Eight represented the Beatitudes;
Seven represented the seven sacraments;
Six represented the six days of creation;
Five represented the first books of the Old Testament;
Four represented the four gospels;
Three represented the Trinity;
Two represented the two natures of Christ...human and divine;
and One represented Jesus himself, our Lord and our God.
The Pear Tree represented the cross we must carry when we follow Christ.
The Apostles’ Creed is a summary of the faith taught by the Apostles. When we pray the Apostles Creed we are professing our faith in the church begun by the Apostles.
The Apostles’ Creed
1. We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, died and was buried.
5. He descended into hell.
6. On the third day he rose again.
7. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
8. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
9. We believe in the Holy Spirit,
10. The holy catholic Church,
11. The communion of saints,
12. The resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen
The Catholic Church has feast days throughout the year. Many of its feast days are in honor of the saints. The feast day given to a saint is usually the day he/she died and entered heaven.
View the list to learn the which feast days are celebrated during the Christmas Season. Each picture has a quote from a saint to reflect on.