Christmas Octave Update (1st Sunday Mass in Salisbury)

Laudetur Iesus Christus and blessed Christmas greetings on the sixth day within the Octave of Christmas. We have a few updates to share as we head into the Christmas Octave weekend:

Sunday January 1 – Octave Day of Christmas

All Masses times should be on a normal Sunday schedule. Our Lady of Grace in Greensboro will also offer a special Midnight Latin Mass on January 1, in addition to its normal 1pm Sunday Latin Mass.

First Sunday Latin Mass – Salisbury

There will be a 4pm Latin Mass on Sunday January 1 at Sacred Heart parish in Salisbury. Fr. Joseph Wasswa will offer the Mass, and Confessions will be offered prior to Mass. A potluck will occur in Brincefield Hall after Mass – please bring a favorite Christmas dish, hors d’oeuvres or dessert to share. For more information please contact Mark Hartley with the Salisbury Latin Mass Community visit:

Plenary Indulgence for December 31 & January 1

There is a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions offered on the last day and first day of the year when one takes part in the recitation of the Te Deum hymn (Friday December 31) and the Veni Creator (Saturday January 1) in a church or oratory. The former is recited in thanksgiving for the blessings the past year, and the latter is to ask for divine assistance for the coming new year. Learn more here: (prayers are attached)

Epiphany Latin Mass Schedule

Thursday January 5 – Vigil of the Epiphany

  • 6:30pm (Blessing only – No Mass), St. Ann parish, Epiphany water, chalk, and salt blessing (no Latin Mass scheduled, only a blessing)
  • 7pm Latin Mass, St. Thomas Aquinas parish (No Epiphany blessing – Epiphany water, chalk and salt to be handed out at parish from January 6-8 while quantities last, see parish website for details)
  • 7pm, (Blessing only – No Mass), Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC – Epiphany Lessons and Carols, followed by blessing of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and Epiphany holy water

** Please note the blessing of Epiphany water can take up to 45 minutes as it contains exorcism prayers and litany of the saints

Friday January 6 – Feast of the Epiphany

  • Normal schedule unless otherwise announced (7am Latin Mass – St. Ann & 12:30pm Latin Mass – St. Mark)
  • 3:30pm, Our Lady of the Lake, Chapin, SC (2 hours south of Charlotte)
  • 6:00pm, Church of the Epiphany*, 163 Galax Lane, Blowing Rock, NC (operated by St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country in Boone, 2 hours northwest of Charlotte)
  • 6:30pm, St. John the Baptist, Tryon, (2 hours west of Charlotte)
  • 7pm – Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro (1.5 hours north of Charlotte)
  • 7pm – Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC (2 hours southwest of Charlotte)

Feast of Pope St. Sylvester (Pope of Peace) – December 31

Tomorrow December 31, is the second to last day of the Christmas Octave and in the liturgical calendar the Church seemingly offers an unusual choice of a saint during this important week – Pope Saint Sylvester who reigned between the years of 314-335 AD, and was one of the first Popes to not die a martyr. Why place him on the calendar within the Christmas Octave? As Dom Prosper Gueranger mentions in his book The Liturgical Year, Pope Sylvester was the “Messenger of Peace”, who transitioned the Church and society into the peaceful era after Christianity was legalized in 313 AD with the Edict of Milan. St. Sylvester symbolizes the coming of the Prince of Peace, who came into the world with His Nativity on Christmas to bring peace between God and man. Gueranger writes:

SO far, the only ones we have seen standing round the Crib of our Jesus have been Martyrs: Stephen, overwhelmed with the shower of stones; John, the Martyr in heart, who survived his fiery torture; the Holy Innocents, massacred by the sword; Thomas, murdered in his cathedral; these are the champions of Christ, who keep guard in the palace of Bethlehem. Yet all Christians are not called to be Martyrs. Besides this countless battalion of the King’s favourite soldiers, there are other troops of sainted heroes which form the heavenly army; and amongst these there are the Confessors, who conquered the world without shedding their blood in the combat. Though the place of honour in the service of the King belongs to the Martyrs, yet did the Confessors fight manfully for the glory of his name and the spreading of his Kingdom. The palm is not in their hands, but they are crowned with the crown of justice, and Jesus, who gave it to them, has made it be part of his own glory that they should be near his throne.

The Church would therefore grace this glorious Christmas Octave with the name of one of her children, who should represent at Bethlehem the whole class of her unmartyred Saints. She chose a Confessor—St Sylvester: a Confessor who governed the Church of Rome, and therefore the universal Church; a Pontiff whose reign was long and peaceful; a Servant of Jesus Christ adorned with every virtue, who was sent to edify and guide the world immediately after those fearful combats that had lasted for three hundred years, in which millions of Christians had gained victory by martyrdom, under the leadership of thirty Popes—predecessors of St Sylvester—and they, too, all Martyrs.

So that Sylvester is messenger of the Peace which Christ came to give to the world, of which the Angels sang on Christmas Night. He is the friend of Constantine; he confirms the Council of Nicæa; he organizes the discipline of the Church for the new era on which she is now entering: the era of Peace. His predecessors in the See of Peter imaged Jesus in his sufferings; Sylvester represented Jesus in his triumph. His appearance during this Octave reminds us that the Divine Child who lies wrapped in swaddling-clothes, and is the object of Herod’s persecution, is, notwithstanding all these humiliations, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come.[1]

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