Joyous Christmas to all. Today is the Conclusion of the Birth of Christ, in the Byzantine Rite, the seventh of the Twelve Days of Christmastide. It is also the commemoration of Saint Melanie the Younger. The twelve days continue tomorrow with the Circumcision of the Lord and Saint Basil the Great, my patron. The following day, January 2, begins the Prefeast of Theophany, which completes the Twelve Days, with the remembrance of Saint Seraphim of Sarov.
This is the season of feasting. Like Bright Week after the Pasch, fasting is dispensed — some sources say “prohibited” or “forbidden” — during this period, up until the Twelfth Day, which is the Eve of Theophany, a strict fast. This is the time when families gather for celebrations and friends gather to party. Fasting is forbidden, and the days are full of important remembrances. So far from being over, as if Christmas begins and ends with the twenty-fifth, the celebration continues.
So, a joyous feast to everyone. Party on down.
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