Message for Feast of the Holy Name – January 1 2022

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer’s ear

It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,

And drives away our fear.

Today, as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name, how much do we really know of the origin of this Feast Day?  I share with you information garnered from the internet on this Feast Day.

Each year on January 01, the Anglican Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, sometimes called the Feast of The Holy Name, or the Feast of the Circumcision.  This feast commemorates the eighth day, or “octave” of Jesus’ birth, when, in Jewish tradition, infant boys are circumcised and named.

“After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”  (Luke 2:21)

Jesus is the Hebrew word for “Saviour” or “Deliverer”.

“Mary’s husband, Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.  But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’” 

(Matthew 1:19-21).

The observance of the Circumcision on the first day of January was originally designated as a fast day, in A.D. 567, to counter all the pagan festivals that occurred at the beginning of the new year.  But it evolved into a feast day, celebrating the naming of Jesus and his circumcision as prescribed in Leviticus 12:3, which initiated him as a son of Abraham and a full member of his family.  Circumcisions are very often festive occasions when family and friends gather to witness the naming of the child.

Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Saviour, Glorious Lord
Emmanuel, God is with us
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word.