3rd Day of Christmas, December 27th: Feast of St. John

The Third Day of Christmas – December 27th. The Feast of St. John

The Feast of St. John the Evangelist is the second of three Prayer Book Holy Days immediately following Christmas Day.  The third and final Mass of Christmas, the “Mass of the Day”, has as its Gospel the beginning of St. John’s Gospel which proclaims the mystery of the Word made flesh.  Today would be a particularly good day to spend some time reading and meditating on John 1: 1-14.

Tradition tells us that John was once given a cup of poisoned wine, but drank it with no ill effect.  A chalice with a serpent signifying the powerless poison is one of his symbols.  In spite of exile and attempts to kill him, John lived to a great old age.  In his last years it is said that he had to be carried to the assembly of the Church and, when he was asked to speak, he would say, simply, “My dear children, love one another.

It is the custom to bless wine on St. John’s day, and to drink a toast to the love of God and to the saint.

The Blessing of Wine on St. John’s Day

Lord Jesus Christ, Thou didst call Thyself the vine and Thy holy Apostles the branches; and out of all those who love Thee, Thou didst desire to make a good vineyard. Bless this wine and pour into it the might of Thy benediction.  Grant that every one who drinks of it may, through the intercession of Thy beloved disciple the holy Apostle and Evangelist John, find courage and strength to pursue the Way, be renewed in the Truth of the Word made flesh, and at the last enter into Life everlasting, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.  Amen.

A glass of wine is then passed around the table.  As it is passed, the giver says::
Drink to the love of St. John.

And the recipient answers:
For where love is, there is God.

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