Q:

How do Roman Catholics celebrate Christmas?

A:

According to AmericanCatholic.org, Roman Catholics celebrate Christmas as part of the liturgical calendar under the Advent and Christmas seasons. A midnight mass beginning on Christmas Eve, continuing on Christmas Day marks the beginning of the celebration that leads up to the Epiphany. Roman Catholics traditionally do not put out decorations in celebration of Christmas until this time; however, gifts and a feast day on Christmas are customary.

The Advent season goes through Christmas Eve and is a time of reflection on the impending birth of the Christian religion’s Jesus Christ. Roman Catholics do not ornament homes until after Advent is over. The midnight mass on Christmas Day marks the end of Advent and the beginning of the celebration of the birth. Many Catholic families celebrate Christmas Day with a large meal and presents. The liturgical Christmas season lasts for 12 days, the 12 Days of Christmas. During this time, Roman Catholics focus on their own spiritual rebirth. There are also two additional feast days within the Christmas season. Some Roman Catholics even give gifts throughout the 12 days.

The Christmas season ends on Epiphany Sunday. The focus of the Epiphany season is on the blessings to the world from the birth of Christ. This season also prepares Roman Catholics for the upcoming Lenten season.


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