INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTMAS SEASON
Christmas is a season of praise and thanksgiving for the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, which begins with Christmas Eve (December 24 after sundown) or Day and continues through the Day of Epiphany. The name Christmas comes from the season's first service, the Christ Mass. Epiphany comes from the Greek word epiphania, which means "manifestation." New Year's Eve or Day is often celebrated in the United Methodist tradition with a Covenant Renewal Service. In addition to acts and services of worship for the Christmas Season on the following pages, see The Great Thanksgivings and the scripture readings for the Christmas Season in the lectionary.
Use the colors of white and gold and materials of the finest texture for paraments, stoles, and banners. Signs of the season include a Chrismon tree, a nativity scene (include the magi on the Day of Epiphany), a Christmas star, angels, poinsettias, and roses. Gold, frankincense, myrrh, and three crowns are appropriate on the Day of Epiphany (January 6 or the Sunday nearest).
Copyright: None. This article is slightly expanded, 2013, by the Discipleship Ministries to indicate the dates for the celebration of Epiphany and the timing for the celebration of Christmas Eve.
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