It’s likely that you’ve heard of the popular Christmas song “The 12 Days of Christmas”, not to mention all of its variations! But the idea of 12 days of Christmas is actually an ancient and important aspect of the Christian year.
For the four weeks of Advent, we have been waiting, watching, and longing for Christ’s coming and now Christmas has finally arrived. This celebration is not just for one day though, we get to have Christmas festivities for 12 days! The Christmas season, or Christmastide, extends from Christmas Day (December 25) to Epiphany (January 6). So while others might be taking down their trees, getting rid of holiday baking, and considering their New Year’s resolutions, we spend 12 days of Christmas feasting, celebrating, and singing carols.
This year, with our Christmas festivities being somewhat muted, we wanted to emphasise the celebratory nature of the Christmas season by providing an at-home worship booklet for all of the 12 days of Christmas. Each day contains the gathering prayer from the Disciple’s Prayer Book, a gospel reading, a Christmas Litany (written by Bishop William Cliff), and the Lord’s Prayer in Cree or English. And to really celebrate the Christmas season, we have also included a daily reflection on a favourite Christmas carol by a member of our Diocese. At the end of each reflection, there’s a YouTube link so you can listen and sing along at home. Bishop William has even created a Spotify playlist of all of the 12 featured carols!
This Christmastide, let’s not be in a hurry to move away from contemplating Christ’s birth, but really settle in to celebrating the wonder and beauty of the Incarnation of Jesus who is Emmanuel – God with us!