Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
Very briefly, just a few miscellaneous things to bear in mind today:
This is the first day of the new year. The Church has us begin it with the singing of the “Come Holy Ghost,” which we shall do at the end of this Mass. A plenary indulgence is granted for all those who sing or recite it, under the usual conditions.
Today is the octave of Christmas: As with other major feasts, the Church extends Her celebration for the entire week following. During this week, all of the Masses commemorated the feast of the Nativity with its collects, the recitation of the Nicene Creed, and the preface of Christmas—even the Canon of the Mass was changed slightly to reflect the fact that on the first Christmas, “the spotless virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary brought forth a Savior to this world.”
The major note of today's Mass is the Circumcision of our Lord. This was a Jewish ritual that incorporated Jewish men into the people chosen by God in the covenant granted to Abraham. The covenant goes back, even before the time of Moses, to whom God gave the major part of His Old Testament Law.
Our Lord was, of course, exempt from all of the provisions of the ceremonial law, as was our Lady. But both of them are seen to have complied with the law anyway. We will see this again in early February, when we celebrate the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple and the Purification of His Blessed Mother. Both Mary and Jesus are an example of cheerful obedience.
The ritual was performed on the eighth day after birth, accompanied by the naming of the Child. His name, of course, was “Jesus,” the name revealed by the angel to both Mary and Joseph before the birth of the Child.
The naming of our Lord is commemorated again tomorrow, but bares mentioning today. Names were important among the Jews, somehow defining the individual. Our Lord was given the name Jesus, which means “Savior” or “One who saves His people.”
He is also referred to as “the Christ,” or the “anointed one.” This is reminiscent of the practice of anointing Jewish kings with Holy Oil, which is continued in the Catholic Church in our use of the three Sacramental Oils—particularly the Holy Chrism which is a mixture of olive oil and balsam that is blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday.
Perhaps the greatest treasure among the Jews of the Old Testament was the knowledge of God's own personal name, which was allowed to be pronounced only once each year in the sanctuary of the Temple by the High Priest.
The knowledge of God's name, and our knowledge of the names of “Jesus” and “the Christ,” are a special blessing that allow us to call upon Him freely. They are a special favor of God to His people. We should utter them frequently, but always by way of worship, and never by way of cursing and blasphemy.
If you make resolutions for the new year, be sure to put at the top of your list not to take the Holy Name of God in vain!
May God bless us with a holy and happy new year!
 Proper Communicántes of the Nativity and its Octave.