Posted by: liturgicalyear | December 4, 2011

Preparing to celebrate a feast day: Saint Nicholas

On Tuesday of this week, we will celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas, bishop of Syrmna in the early fourth century.  Unfortunately, this holy and charitable saint has been morphed by our culture into Santa Claus, a guy with a beard who wears a red suit and who gives out presents to kids.  Supposedly he goes down all the chimneys of the world on Christmas eve, but sometimes you can spot him outside the grocery ringing a bell, or at the mall where you can take a picture with him.

Too bad!!!  There’s so much more that we can learn from the holiness of this man.

In light of this, I thought it might be helpful to some of my readers to point them to what I think is a great resource for celebrating his feast day.  Now, you may think to yourself, “Why are you doing this on Sunday and not on his feast day?”  Well, celebrating his feast in the way I recommend takes a bit of preparation.    Because it’s so good, I point you to the Saint Nicholas feast day celebration from A Shower of Roses.  It’s one of the best I’ve seen.  Even if you can’t do all of it, do some of it with your children and students to help them refocus on the spirit of the Advent season.

You can adapt this approach for different saints of the season or of the year.  Here is a list of saints whose feast day falls during the remainder of the Advent season and into the early Christmas season (source):

Saint Nicholas of Myra Feast Day: December 6
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day: December 12, patroness of the Americas
Saint Lucy Feast Day: December 13, patron saint of eye problems
Saint Stephen Feast Day: December 26, first martyr of the early church

Hopefully this activity will contribute to your heeding John the Baptist’s plea from today’s gospel “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths,” (Mk 1:3) even if it’s only in your little corner of the world.

O Come!  O Come, Emmanuel!  Anne 

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