December 28, 2013

Liturgical Guide: Feast of the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893. Formal devotion to the Holy Family can be traced back to 17th century Québec when the first bishop of New France: Blessed François de Laval expanded the role of the Confraternity of the Holy Family, an association with roots going back to the very founding of Montréal. Beginning at paragraph #1655, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says this of the Holy Family and the Church: "Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than 'the family of God.' From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers 'together with all their household' Acts 11:14. When they were converted, they desired that 'their whole household' Acts 16:15,31 should also be saved. These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world. In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia Domestica (the Domestic Church)."

73. Virgin-Born, We Bow Before You
77. Sing of Mary, Pure and Lowly
78. Joseph of Nazareth

6. A Noble Flower of Juda
7. Afar from Where the Sun Doth Rise
8. Christ Whose Blood for All Men Streamed
9. O Come, All Ye Faithful
10. Unto Us a Child is Given
11. Of the Father's Love Begotten
12. Christ is Here, Emmanuel!

Commentary by Fr. James Kubicki of the Apostleship of Prayer

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