Christmastide: The real Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmastide (also the Christmas season) is a season of the liturgical year. The season starts at sunset on December 24th (Christmas Eve) and ends on January 5th (the day before Epiphany). The season's colour is white.

We see, at the same time, what sort of beginning the life of the Son of God had, and in what cradle he was placed. Such was his condition at his birth, because he had taken upon him our flesh for this purpose, that he might “empty himself” (Phil 2:7) on our account. When he was thrown into a stable, and placed in a manger, and a lodging refused him among men, it was that heaven might be opened to us, not as a temporary lodging, but as our eternal country and inheritance, and that angels might receive us into their abode.
John Calvin, Harmony of the Evangelists, on Luke 2:1-7


Nativity of the Lord
December 24 & 25, 2016
Christmas Eve, Morn, or Mid-Day
Isaiah 52:7-10 Psalm 98 Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12) John 1:1-14
First Sunday after Christmas Day
January 1, 2017
Isaiah 63:7-9 Psalm 148 Hebrews 2:10-18 Matthew 2:13-23


  • Birth of Jesus. Detail from the side facing the apse of the so-called "Sarcofago di Stilicone" ("Stilicho's sarcophagus"), an Ancient Roman christian sarcophagus dating from the 4th century. It is preserved beneath the pulpit of Sant'Ambrogio basilica in Milan, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, April 25 2007. By G.dallorto via Wikimedia Commons
  • Lectionary from The Vanderbilt Divinity Library