Season of Christmas

Next to the yearly celebrations of the paschal mystery, the Church considers nothing more important than the memorial of Christ's birth and early manifestations. This is the purpose of the season of Christmas.

General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, #32

Documentation

2. Christmas Season

a) Solemnities, Feasts, and Sundays

95. For the vigil and the three Masses of Christmas both the prophetic readings and the others have been chosen from the Roman tradition.

The gospel on the Sunday within the octave of Christmas, feast of the Holy Family, is about Jesus' childhood and the other readings are about the virtues of family life.

On the octave of Christmas, solemnity of the Mary, Mother of God, the readings are about the Virgin Mother of God and the giving of the holy Name of Jesus.

On the second Sunday after Christmas, the readings are about the mystery of the Incarnation.

On the Epiphany, the Old Testament reading and the gospel continue the Roman tradition; the text for the reading from the apostolic letters is about the calling of all peoples to salvation.

On the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the texts chosen are about this mystery.

b) Weekdays

96. From 29 December on, there is a continuous reading of the whole of 1 John, which actually begins earlier, on 27 December, feast of St John the Evangelist, and on 28 December, feast of the Holy Innocents. The gospels relate manifestations of the Lord: events of Jesus’ childhood from Luke (29–30 December); passages from John 1(31 December–5 January); other manifestations from the four gospels (7-12 January).

Introduction to the Lectionary

Calendar

Sundays and Solemnities of Christmas

Weekdays of Christmas

Feasts

National Calendar for England

National Calendar for Wales

Occasions when Mass texts of the day maybe replaced
V1 V2 V3 D1 D2 D3
V1 V2 V3 D1 D2 D3
1 Solemnities of precept (Christmas Day, Epiphany) cross cross cross cross cross cross
4. Solemnities not of precept (Mary, Mother of God) cross cross cross tick cross cross
7. Sundays of Christmas tick cross cross tick cross cross
8. Feasts
10 Days in the octave of Christmas tick cross cross tick tick cross
14. Weekdays in the season of Christmas from 2 January tick tick cross tick tick cross

V1 = Ritual Masses (General Instruction of the Roman Missal [hereafter, GIRM], no. 372).
Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses, in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the direction of the local Ordinary or with his permission (GIRM, no. 374).

V2 = Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses, in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the discretion of the rector of the church or the priest celebrant (GIRM, no. 376).

V3 = Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses chosen by the priest celebrant in favour of the devotion of the people (GIRM, no. 373, 375).

D1 = Funeral Mass (GIRM, no. 380).

D2 = Mass on the occasion of news of a death, final burial, or the first anniversary (GIRM, no. 381).

D3 = Daily Mass for the dead (GIRM, no. 381). When D1 and D2 are not permitted, neither is D3.

Resources

Cycle of Prayer

Advent – Christmas

Openness to the Word of God
especially on Bible Sunday (2nd Sunday of Advent)
Migrants and Refugees
especially on Migrant's Day (3 December)
Expectant Mothers
especially on 4th Sunday of Advent

Year of the Eucharist

Spirit of the Season