This coming Sunday, January 7th, is the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — Christmas Day. We will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity with a Midnight Mass on Sunday morning at Midnight. A Christmas party in our parish hall will follow Holy Mass. There will be no other Services on Sunday.
Midnight Mass is a special Christmas Mass. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is a beautiful Christmas carol. Midnight is the hour traditionally regarded as the time that Jesus was born.
“For while gentle silence embraced everything, and night at its own speed was half over, Your all-powerful Word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne, into the midst of a doomed land (Wisdom of Solomon 18:14-15).
Jesus was born during the night watch (Luke 2:8). The night watch was from sunset to sunrise. The night being "half over" has traditionally been understood to be midnight. And at midnight, the Word of God is presented as "leaping" from heaven into a doomed land, our fallen world, to save us from sin and death, and to restore us to communion with God. The Fathers and ancient Christians loved this image of God's Word "leaping" to earth in the middle of the night — the Light shining in the darkness. Christmas Midnight Mass is very special. Don’t miss it.
Jesus is the one and only Reason for the Season. Let us keep Christ in Christmas and the Mass in Christmas. O Come all ye faithful!
A Christmas party in our parish hall will follow Midnight Mass. Members of our church family are asked to bring festive food and drink to celebrate the birth of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Visitors are our guests and do not have to bring a thing. To God be the glory, great things He hath done, so loved He the world that He gave us His Son. Wise men still seek Him!
On the Feast of the Nativity and throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas it is traditional to greet one another with, Christ is born! And to respond, Glorify Him!
WHY DO MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON JANUARY 7 ?
Good question! The Julian or “Old” Calendar was the calendar that was in use when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It was the calendar of the early Church and the calendar that all Christians used until 1582, when five hundred years after the Great Schism of 1054, Pope Gregory of Rome changed the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church to the so-called “Gregorian” or “New” Calendar — and tragically, further divided Christians. The New Calendar gradually spread throughout the West, with the British Empire and the American Colonies being the last to give up the Old Calendar in 1752. When President George Washington was born the American Colonies were still on the Old Calendar. Our Church remains on the Old Calendar. The two calendars are 13 days apart, so January 7 on the New Calendar is December 25 on the Old Calendar. You can read more about it here:
THE ONGOING BEAUTIFICATION OF OUR CHURCH
Our St. Joseph’s Guild has been busy with improvements to our chapel which you will see when you arrive on Saturday evening for Christmas Midnight Mass. We have three new free standing icon stands, four new large icons behind the altar, a permanent bishop’s throne has been installed, and the available space for use by the Celebrant and ministers of the altar in our sanctuary has been greatly increased. We are still waiting on lampadas for the four new icons to arrive and we plan to put in new hard flooring and installing a platform for the altar and priest’s step. Replacing the carpet with hard flooring will greatly improve the acoustics. The church looks beautiful! The Christmas tree, pine hangings, poinsettias and Nativity Scene are such blessings for the Feast of the Nativity, and the entire temple smells of pine. Our church is the House of God and the Gate of Heaven. I was glad when they said unto me, We will go into the House of the Lord!
PHOTO-GALLERY OF CHRISTMAS MANGER SCENES — beautiful photographs that will bless your heart and lift your spirit. Enjoy!
OUR HEARTS — THE ONLY GIFT WORTHY IN THE EYES OF GOD. Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion.
Christmas Midnight Mass will be celebrated at Midnight on Sunday morning January 7th. A Christmas party in our parish hall will follow Midnight Mass. Come and celebrate our dear Lord’s birth. Everyone is invited, and visitors are always welcome. Who can get enough of Christmas? Even if you observed Christmas already, come and celebrate “Old Christmas.” You will be blessed!
Holy Cross Orthodox Church is a faithful, friendly and vibrant parish, and we have a place for you! I’ll be looking forward to seeing you at Christmas Midnight Mass. Come and worship our new-born King!
Fr. Victor Novak
HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127