2nd Day of Christmas, December 26th: The Feast of St. Stephen

The Second Day of Christmas – December 26th The Feast of St. Stephen

This day has the additional title “Boxing Day”, and it is a holiday in several countries.  There are various explanations for this name, but they all boil down to the idea that this is a day to be generous to those who are less fortunate than yourself.  The day celebrates the first person to give his life for the sake of Christ, St. Stephen, who was also one of the first deacons ordained to serve the poor.  Archbishop Thomas Becket has something to say about him which you can read today, or save for the 29th. Another saint who is closely associated with this day is St. Wenceslas of Bohemia whose charity to the poor is remembered in John Mason Neale’s wonderful carol.

The day after Christmas is a particularly good day to put the fabled “spirit of giving” into practice.  Take time today to perform an act of charity.  If you make end-of-the-year gifts to charities, write the checks  today.

Remembering  St.  Stephen, as well as our Lord’s own sacrifice, this would be a good day to give blood, if the donation center is open.  Charity can take many forms.  Whatever form yours takes, make sure to sing or whistle “Good King Wenceslaus” while you are doing it!

St. Stephen’s Day is a Prayer Book Holy Day, a day on which one should also participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

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