The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (1 JAN 14)

The Circumcision of Jesus
The Circumcision of Jesus

Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

 – Collect for The Holy Name of Our Lord; Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2003


This feast day is interesting due to its significance. The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is a day that has multiple instances of significance. The first is that it is the day in which the child that Mary delivered and Joseph protected and cared for is now officially given the name of Jesus. The second is that the child would undergo circumcision as well. Both of these acts would occur eight days after the child was born, per Jewish ritual outlines in the Book of Leviticus.

Originally this day was celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and removed it in 1969. Pope John Paul II restored the feast in 2001. In the Anglican Church, the feast was originally called The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus. However, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, it was renamed to the current title.

This feast day is a remembrance of another step in the life of Jesus. It reminds us that Jesus is a Jewish child with Jewish parents and grows up to be a Jewish man. He is the Messiah, the Saviour. We, at times, over look the childhood of Jesus because of the lack of source material. However, considering the lack of information, we should cherish the information that we have.

 – JMH+

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