The Circumcision of Our Lord
On the eighth day Christ was circumcised. Eight days after Our Lord's birth, Jesus was circumcised according to the law of the Old Covenant, an event that is commemorated on January 1st.
In the Missale Romanum, January 1st is entitled In Octava Nativitatis Domini. Not only does this day complete the Nativity Octave, but it also commemorates an important event in Christ's infancy, His circumcision, as we read in the Gospel of St. Luke sung during the Mass: "And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb." Thus why this octave day is also referred to as the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord.
We also read in the Gospel account that during Our Lord's circumcision, the name He was given to the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Annunciation, JESUS (meaning, "Yahweh saves") was formally bestowed upon Him. However, the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus is not celebrated until the first Sunday after the Nativity Octave, which this year falls on January 3th.
To commemorate the Octave Day in the Nativity of Our Lord — which also starts the secular calendar year — we offer some citations from Sacred Scripture about circumcision in the Old Covenant and a poem reflecting on this event in the redemptive life of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.