The Christmas season includes the celebrations of Jesus' birth and his becoming known to the world, Christmas and Epiphany.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. This celebration lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. On the Epiphany (a word that means “to show” or “reveal”), we celebrate Jesus' being revealed to the whole world, which is represented by the Magi.
Sunday Connection—Background and Activities in Preparation for the Christmas Scriptures
These resources are provided to help you and your family or faith formation group to better understand the Gospel message and grow in your faith.
Christmas Resources to Browse
Finding God under the Christmas Tree
Holy Days of Obligation
Blessing the Family Christmas Tree
Making Room for God
Books for the Season
The Christmas Play: A Fable for the Holidays
By Carol Lynn Pearson
Skilled storyteller and best-selling author Carol Lynn Pearson captures the true spirit of Christmas in these heartwarming holiday parables.
A Catholic Woman's Book of Days
By Amy Welborn
The only book of days written and designed especially for Catholic women.
A Gift for the Christ Child: A Christmas Folktale
By Linda Schlafer/Illustrator Anne Wilson
This charming story based on a South American Christmas Folktale, offers a heartwarming message about the importance of giving. There is a lesson of generosity and sacrifice that is so important in the Christmas season.
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
In a prayer for the King of Israel in Psalm 72:10, we read,
"May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute,
the kings of Arabia and Seba offer gifts."
This Old Testament text led to the traditional interpretation of the Magi as kings. While the Magi are never numbered as three in Matthew's account, the fact that three gifts were offered suggests three gift bearers. Isaiah describes the restoration of Israel after the exile using these words:
"Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
All from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense." (Isaiah 60:6)
The Church interprets these words as describing the Epiphany of Jesus to the world through the Magi. Gold is the most precious of metals, most fitting for a king. Frankincense (incense) was offered by the priests in the temple. Myrrh is a spice or perfume and was used to prepare bodies for burial.