Approaching Christmas, one is surrounded by holiday traditions and seasonal formalities. From Latin Rite Advent wreaths, to Chaldean Rite Marian Fasts, the Church provides many means by which the faithful can prepare themselves for the coming of Christ – each putting unique emphasis on a particular spiritual aspect.
After a Season of patient waiting, the Church now celebrates the much-anticipated birth of her Savior, and with a new Season, comes a plethora of new and edifying traditions with different spiritual benefits than the previous Season’s.
The Chaldeans have a special tradition in their Rite for Christmas day, pertaining to the shepherds. On the night Jesus was born, shepherds were in the fields surrounding Bethlehem watching the flocks, probably warming themselves by a campfire when they were suddenly visited by a multitude of angels announcing the glorious news of Jesus’ birth.
In solidarity with the shepherds’ vigilant watch, the Chaldean Church encourages the faithful to light a small fire of sorts, similar to that around which the shepherds presumably gathered that Christmas night. Unlike the shepherds though, the Church no longer has to travel to Bethlehem to see the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths; the faithful now hear the Yuletide news sung at the Christmas Vigil Mass, and receive their long-awaited Savior into their souls every Sunday.
In closing, St. Peter’s Chaldean Catholic Diocese would like to wish all its faithful a Holy Christmas, and a Blessed New Year.