Wednesday, September 27, 2023 UTC


circumcision-and-basil  JAN 1: DIVINE LITURGY OF ST. BASIL –  9:00 AM.

PROPERS VIGIL DL: 01-01_Circumcision_Vigil_DL

PROPERS DL: 01-01_Circumcision_DL

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On the Church’s Calendar, December 31 is also the optional memorial of Saint Sylvester I, Pope.  Sylvester was our 33rd pope, serving as Pontiff from the year 314 til his death in 335. Pope Sylvester organized public worship at the time following persecutions when it became legal for Christians to gather for worship. People in many countries, especially countries such as Germany, Poland, Belgium, and Austria, celebrate New Year’s Eve as “Sylvester Night” in honor of Saint Sylvester’s feast day.  There is much revelry, including fireworks and the consumption of “Sylvester’s Punch.”  Some legends even equate Saint Sylvester with Father Time. Sylvester’s Punch contains the ingredients: 1 bottle Red burgundy wine, Equal amount of hot tea, 12 cloves, rind of 1 lemon, 2 Tablespoons sugar to each bottle of wine, 2 cinnamon sticks to each bottle of wine. Pour wine liquid into enamel pot, add cloves, thinly pared rind of 1 lemon, sugar, and cinnamon. Heat over low flame but do not allow to boil. At last moment add tea. Serve hot.

Today we also commemorate The Circumcision of Our Lord, eight days after the Nativity. Jesus was circumcised and named on this day, in keeping with the Law of Moses and signifies that He is the fullness and the completion of the Old Covenant. “When the eighth day arrived for his circumcision, the name Jesus was given the child, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.”  (Luke 2:21).  During this feast, we also recall the childhood of our Lord, the “hidden years” from his infancy until the beginning of his public ministry.

Today also commemorates the anniversary of the death of Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea. He was one of the most distinguished of the Doctors (teachers) of the Church. Chosen bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, he was a tireless preacher, champion of orthodox theology against the Arian heresy, a writer of theological works, and a monastic legislator whose “rules” of monastic life are still followed throughout the Christian East. He is credited with an Anaphora (Eucharistic prayer) which is a masterpiece of theology and devotion, recounting the entire history of salvation. This Liturgy of Saint Basil is used on the great baptismal feasts, on the Sundays of the Fast, and on this, his feast day.





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