The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' First Presidency is giving their annual Christmas devotional to kick off the holiday season. The devotional will be televised on Sunday, December 2, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. MST. The video player is starting to load. Hold on please...
The Christmas season is a particular time for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. Every year, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meet with family and friends to remember the sweet image of "the child wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12). They listen to carols and watch holiday films, eat special meals, and spend time with their loved ones.
Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus Christ will return to this earth again and will reign as King over His kingdom for a thousand years. At the end of that period, He will be crucified again and rise from the dead on Easter Sunday. Then He will come back to life for another reign, this time lasting forever. During these final days, God will pour out His love for all mankind.
Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ every year at about the same time. They remember his miraculous birth, the events leading up to it, and the significance of his birth. By honoring Christ during this time, Christians show that they care about their families' spiritual welfare and want them to have a close relationship with Him.
In addition to remembering Christ's birth, Latter-day Saints also wear clothes made from cotton during December in memory of the Holy Family's poverty when they were traveling in Egypt. They eat food marked with the blood of animals as an act of reverence toward God.
Christmas is celebrated by Christians all over the world on December 25th as an annual church celebration and the traditional day of our Savior's mortal birth. Many Mormons believe that the Savior was born in the spring, as suggested by modern scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 20:1). However, because there are no specific references to His birth in the winter, some Christians assume that He was not born on Christmas Day.
Mormons celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ every year on December 25th at 10:11 am Pacific Time. This is when many of His current apostles and prophets say prayers at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also wear red clothes and give gifts - especially chocolate - to honor the birth of Christ.
In addition to praying at Church headquarters, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also celebrate the birth of the Savior on Christmas Day at local congregations throughout the world. Local leaders decide how they want to celebrate the birth of Christ with their families. Some may have a special prayer service or reading from the Bible, while others may play Christmas music or have someone read "The Night Before Christmas."
All over Utah, people are dressing up in red clothes and going to Church on Christmas Day. They listen to speakers tell them about the life of Christ and then eat dinner together after hearing a sermon from a member of the clergy.
The liturgical season of Christmas, on the other hand, begins on December 25 and lasts considerably longer in the Roman Catholic Church! "The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and finishes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord," according to the USCCB. These include: Christmas Eve midnight mass; Christmas Day mass; 2 p.m. mass; 6 p.m. mass; 12 noon mass; 3 p.m. mass; 6 p.m. mass; 9 p.m. vespers; and 10 a.m. mass.
In addition, there is also the Doxology at the end of Mass, which is sung after the priest has said certain prayers over the gifts brought to the church by families during the ceremony known as "the nativity scene."
Finally, we should note that Jesus is presented in the temple during the Christmas season. This is done by an artist who visits each parish to paint a picture for the nativity scene. The pictures are usually placed near the main entrance of the church or in some other prominent location so that they can be seen by all who enter.
These are just some of the many celebrations held during the Christmas season. We have only touched upon the major events of this holy time.
The genuine Christmas season lasts until the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, which is observed on the Sunday after January 6, or the following Monday if that Sunday is Epiphany, in the current version of the Roman Rite. So the last day of the Christmas season is January 5.
In the West, it is common to celebrate Christmas from December 25 to January 6, depending on what date you believe is the birth of Jesus Christ. If you observe December 25, then the season ends on New Year's Day; if you follow March 25, then it ends on Easter Sunday.
However, according to the Latin Church's Calendar Reform of 1910, which was accepted by most Western churches except for England and Wales, Christmas should be moved from December 25 to November 30, so the season would end on December 24. This change made it possible to have two consecutive weeks off for vacation instead of just one. The Calendar Reform also changed when Easter should be celebrated; instead of waiting for the first Sunday after April 12, as before, it now takes place on the First Sunday after the First Full Moon after April 21. These changes were adopted by most countries except France and Italy. In France, only the year-round use of the December 25 birthday of Jesus is approved by law, while in Italy there are no official dates for Christmas or Easter but these events are celebrated by individual churches within their boundaries.