- A Feast of the Church observed on January 1st, in commemoration of our Lord's obedience to the Law of Circumcision and His receiving the Name Jesus (which see, also HOLY NAME). Originally this date was observed as the Octave of Christmas. Its first mention as the Feast of the Circumcision was about A.D. 1090. In the Annotated Prayer Book there is the following note: "January 1st was never in any way connected with the opening of the Christian Year; and the religious observance of this day (New Year's Day) has never received any sanction from the Church, except as the Octave of Christmas and the Feast of the Circumcision. The spiritual point of the season all gathers about Christmas. As the modern New Year's Day is merely conventionally so (New Year's Day being on March 25th until about 150 years ago), there is no reason why it should be allowed at all to dim the lustre of a day so important to all persons and all ages as Christmas Day." The Feast of the Circumcision is designed to be observed with great solemnity. There are Proper Psalms, being the 40th and 90th for Morning Prayer, and the 65th and 103d for Evening Prayer, also Proper Lessons and Collect, Epistle and Gospel, these last to be used every day until the Epiphany. The Church color is, white, and the Feast is placed among the Days of Obligation (which see).
American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. William James Miller, M.A., B.D.. 1901.
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