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Merry Seventh Day of Christmas (Saint Sylvester's Day, Watchnight, New Years Eve, Hogmanay)


Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
Staff member
Premium Member
:glowingstar: Merry Christmas!!! :glowingstar:

The Carol:

On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Gold Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree


Today is the 7th celebratory day of the Octave* of Christmas
and the Feast of St. Sylvester, pope during the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, when the dogma of Jesus's incarnate divinity and 'consubstantiality' (of the same substance and essence) with the Father was defended against the Arians.

Saint Sylvester's Day - also known as Silvester - is a holiday celebrated in many European countries including: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Slovenia. There is much revelry, including fireworks and the consumption of “Sylvester’s Punch.”

It coincides with the Gregorian calendar celebration of New Years Eve, marked with special magnificence as "Hogmanay" in Scotland.

Tonight, in anticipation of the Octave Day of Christmas tomorrow (which is also the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus and World Day of Prayer for Peace in the Catholic Church), it is traditional for Moravians, Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans and Pentecostals to have a special "Watchnight" service to review the year that has passed and prepare for the new year ahead by praying. In the Catholic Church, this ceremony is often replicated in the form of a Midnight Mass held on New Year's Eve and known as the "Watch Night Mass".

The season of Christmastide as a whole - in most ecclesiastical traditions - lasts until Twelfth Night (5th January) on the feast of the Epiphany, when decorations and tree are traditionally taken down.

(*An Octave is a period of eight days wherein a feast of the Church is celebrated for that whole period as though it were all the same day. e.g. some of the prayers and antiphons this morning at Mass say, “Today is born our saviour, Christ the Lord.”

Jesus, like all Jewish boys, was circumcised by his parents eight days after his birth according to the Torah and he rose from the dead on the eighth day of the week, Sunday. Hence the 'Octave' of eight feasting days of Christmas and also the reason why baptismal fonts are octagonal!

The Octave Day of the Feast of Christmas is January 1st, New Years Day)​

Prayer for Silvester's Day and Watch Night

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

through the life and examples of Pope St. Silvester I,

as well as through the concerted effort of the Church leaders

at that time in the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea,

steering the Church and the faithful

through the difficult and divisive moments in its history,

let us all therefore remind ourselves to keep being faithful to God

and hold onto our Christian faith.

Let us all enter into the New Year with a new hope,

and bring hope to one another,

and do our best to live our lives as faithful Christians

and be exemplary to each other,

that we may inspire more and more people to follow the Lord.

And as we are still celebrating the season of Christmas,

let us all bring the hope and joy of Christmas,

the hope in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

to all those who are still suffering

and are in the darkness of despair and sorrow this year,

that the Light of Christ may heal all of them and bring them to salvation.

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