The Octave of Christmas

Merry Christmas!

The beautiful thing for us as Catholics is that Christmas does not end the day after Christmas … rather; it is the beginning of the Christmas season! Thus, for this first week – what we call the “octave” of Christmas – we will have some special celebrations during the week. Here is the Mass schedule for the week, with some notes of some special celebrations, specifically on Wed. Dec. 27 and Thurs. Dec. 28


– Tues., Dec. 26 – Feast of St. Stephen: 8:30 a.m., Ackley

  • St. Stephen is the first Christian Martyr (see Acts of the Apostles 6-7)


– Wed., Dec. 27 – Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist: 5:30 p.m., Hampton

  • There is a tradition of blessing and drinking wine on the feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. This was inspired by the legend that once St. John prayed a blessing over a cup of poisoned wine and when he did so the poison evaporated in the form of a serpent, leaving the wine safe to drink.
  • Join us after Mass where we will have:

– A blessing of wine; you can bring your own wine to be blessed

– Enjoy hot-spiced wine OR hot-spiced apple cider

– All are welcome! Feel free to bring a hors d’oeuvre to share, but no obligation to bring anything! Just come and join us for prayer and celebration!


– Thurs., Dec. 28 – Feast of the Holy Innocents: 5:30 p.m., Hampton

  • Part of the Christmas story is the event of the Holy Innocents, the children killed by Herod in Bethlehem. Thus, on this day we pray especially for all who has suffered the loss of a child or grandchild, whether in miscarriage, still birth, or infancy. Whether as a child, a youth, or adult.
  • Join us for a night of prayer, that will include Mass and lighting a candle for each child, with special blessings for parents and grandparents who have suffered miscarriage, or the loss of a child of any age
  • Supper to follow


– Fri., Dec. 29 – St. Thomas à Becket: 8:30 a.m., Ackley

  • Lastly, we have a special Mass honoring the English Bishop who stood up for the faith against a King who was trying to control the Church for his own worldly power. St. Thomas à Becket’s martyrdom inspired conversion in the King, and has made him an icon of religious freedom and courageously resisting tyranny.


– Fr. Kevin