Janaury 1 is the eighth day of Christmastide and the octave of Christmas
Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
|Today is the Octave (oc-tave, not to be confused with oc-tive which is spelled the same—I love our language) of Christmas or the eight day of celebrating the Christmas Feast. This practice comes from the Hebrew tradition of celebrating many of their feasts for eight days such as Feast of Tabernacles and the Dedication of the Temple. There was a custom in Coventry, England of visiting one’s Godchild on this day. The Godparents brought Godcakes, triangular cakes in honor of the Trinity with a sweet filling, to their Godchildren. Perhaps this is a tradition you could start.
There are also two other Feast celebrated today:
Feast of the Circumcision of Christ
According to the Law, Jesus would have been circumcised today and His name would have been formally proclaimed by his father. The beginning of the redemption for humans is celebrated in this feast as His blood was shed for the first time in obedience to the Law.
Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
Jesus—fully God and fully human—developed in the womb of Mary. This is one of the reasons she prophesied that “all generations shall call be blessed”.
Eight Maids A-milking
|Today’s gifts are Eight Maids A-Milking representing the eight Beatitudes (the supreme callings and blessing of following Jesus) given by Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount.
“Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity.” ~ Saint Therese of Lisieux