Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God 1 January 2018

On Monday, January 1, 2018, we celebrate Mass at 9:00 AM.

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom Christians see as the Lord, Son of God. It is celebrated by the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide, and in the Catholic Church is a Holy day of obligation.

Christians of Byzantine Rite and of all West Syrian Rite, South Syrian Rites and East Syrian Rites celebrate Mary as Mother of God on 26 December and the Coptic Church does so on 16 January. The Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church observe the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on January 1.

The feast is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood of Jesus. The English title “Mother of God” is a translation of the Latin title Dei Genetricis, which means “She Who Generated God”, as the corresponding Greek title Θεοτόκος (Theotokos) means “She Who Gave Birth to God”. This title was dogmatically adopted at the First Council of Ephesus (431) as a way to assert that Jesus is God, and that his mother can therefore be called Mother of God. The title that the 1 January feast celebrates is thus not only Mariological but also Christological.

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Image: The Virgin in Prayer, by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato, c. 1650.