The Feast of the Holy Family
"Father in heaven, creator of all, you ordered the earth to bring forth life and crowned its goodness by creating the family of man.
In history's moment when all was ready, you sent your Son to dwell in time, obedient to the laws of life in our world.
Teach us the sanctity of human love, show us the value of family life, and help us to live in peace with all men that we may share in your life for ever." (Sacramentary)
The Feast of the Holy Family, this year celebrated on December 30, has its origins in the 17th century when devotion to the Holy Family was quite strong.
The feast itself was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893 and was extended to the whole Roman Church by Pope Benedict XV in 1921.
Formerly it was celebrated on the Sunday after Epiphany, but since 1969 the feast falls on the Sunday after Christmas, or December 30 if Christmas falls on a Sunday.
The Feast of the Holy Family offers liturgists and musicians an opportunity to put the theme of Christian Family Life into action by organizing a "Family Choir" to sing on this Sunday.
This choir, made up of all choir members (youth and adult) and their families (yes, even tone-deaf Uncle Herbert), becomes a living symbol of the spirit of the liturgy on Holy Family Sunday.