7th Day of Christmas
December 31 - New Year's Eve!
Feast Day of Saint Sylvester commemorates Pope Sylvester I, a little known saint who served as Pope from 314 to 335. Medieval legend made him responsible for the conversion of emperor Constantine. Saint Sylvester's Day celebrations are marked by a Midnight Mass or a Watchnight service, as well as fireworks, partying, and feasting to celebrate the new year.
Reading: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?” Read Psalm 121
Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, who alone works great marvels: Send down upon our clergy and the congregations committed to their charge the life-giving Spirit of your grace, shower them with the continual dew of your blessing, and ignite in them a zealous love of your Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pray: Practice the Prayer of Examen as a way of looking back over your year through the eyes of Jesus.
Gratitude Journal: Write 3 things for which you are grateful.
Set off fireworks or sparklers to mark the beginning of the New Year.
Feast on traditional New Year’s food!
Write a blessing for the upcoming year and share it with friends.
Make Seven swans a-swimming. Post a photo #12TideCbus
Ancient Text Reflection:
St. John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.) “On the Birth of Our Savior”
"I behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the shepherd's song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The angels sing. The archangels blend their voice in harmony. The cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in Heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.
Bethlehem this day resembles Heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of Justice. And ask not how; for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed, He, Who had the power. He descended. He redeemed; all things move in obedience to God. This day He Who is, is born; and He Who is, becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man; yet not departing from the Godhead that is His. Nor yet by any loss of divinity became He man, nor through increase became He God from man; but being the Word He became flesh. His nature, because of impassability, remaining unchanged.
When He was born, the Jews denied His extraordinary birth; the Pharisees began to interpret falsely the Sacred writings; the scribes spoke in contradiction of that which they read. Herod sought Him out Who was born, not that he might adore, but to put Him to death. Today all things proclaim the opposite. For they have not been, that I may speak with the psalmist, hidden from their children, in another generations (Ps. 127:4). And so the kings have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him angels, nor archangels, nor thrones, nor dominations, nor powers, nor principalities, but treading a new and solitary path He has come forth from a spotless womb."