Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord

Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord Gospel Reading

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Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord – 1 January

The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord is an important feast that reveals Christ’s purpose and fulfils a prophecy of the Old Testament. It is celebrated on New Years Day with the Feasts of St Basil and Gregory.

Here are some things to note about the importance of this Feast:

  1. Circumcision according to Jewish Law occurred eight days after birth and hence why it is celebrated in the Maronite calendar 8 days after Christmas. In Jewish tradition a  child is formally named, hence why we hear in the opening prayer of the liturgy;

when you were given the name Jesus,
which means “God saves”.

2. Circumcision in Jewish tradition was a sign of membership into the community. Baptism is the new sign of membership for all Christians in the Body of Christ. This fulfils a prophecy in the Old Testament that mentions that God truly became flesh and dwelt among us.

“In Him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ, when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” 

Colossians 2:11-12

And again we hear in the Prayer of Forgiveness in the liturgy:

Let us raise glory, honour, and praise to the Father, who gave us his only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth; and to the Son, who fulfilled the law of circumcision in the flesh and replaced it with holy Baptism to purify the body and the spirit;

 3. This feast comes before the feast of the Epiphany, highlighting the end of the tradition of circumcision and the beginning of the new law of Baptism in its place.

Let us raise glory, honour, and praise to the Father, who gave us his only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth; and to the Son, who fulfilled the law of circumcision in the flesh and replaced it with holy Baptism to purify the body and the spirit;

Liturgy- Prayer of Forgiveness

On this day we remember that God sent His only Son to live and dwell among us. On this day he is formally named Jesus which means “God saves”. Let us pray that through the new Law of Baptism we are welcomed into the community and saved by the Son. We pray that we renew Our Baptism through the sacrament of confession. We ask through the intercession of the great Saints Basil and Gregory, to bless our new year with your peace and blessings.


Glorious Season of the Birth of Our Lord