The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph – 31 Dec
The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the human family unit, as well as the ultimate family unit: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The feast, not a solemnity, is usually celebrated on the Sunday after Christmas.
The Feast of the Holy Family is not just about the Holy Family, but about our own families too. The main purpose of the Feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general. Our family life becomes sanctified when we live the life of the Church within our homes. This is called the “domestic church” or the “church in miniature.” St. John Chrysostom urged all Christians to make each home a “family church,” and in doing so, we sanctify the family unit. Just how does one live out the Church in the family? The best way is by making Christ the center of family and individual life. Ways to do this include: reading scripture regularly, praying daily, attending Mass at least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, imitating the actions of the Holy Family, going to confession frequently, and so forth, all done together as a family unit.
The Holy Family feast is a good time to remember the family unit and pray for our human and spiritual families. We also may take this feast to reflect on the value and sanctity of the family unit, and to evaluate our own family life. What ways may it be improved? What would Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do? Finally, we can use this feast to ask ourselves what are we doing to promote the family within our own cultures, neighborhoods, and communities.
Prayer in Honour of the Holy Family
Lord Jesus Christ,
who, being made subject to Mary and Joseph,
didst consecrate domestic life
by Thine ineffable virtues;
grant that we,
with the assistance of both,
may be taught by the example
of Thy Holy Family
and may attain to its everlasting fellowship.
Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.
A Prayer for the Family
Jesus, our most loving redeemer,
You came to enlighten the world
with your teaching and example.
You willed to spend the greater part of Your life
in humble obedience to Mary and Joseph
in the poor home of Nazareth.
In this way, You sanctified that family,
which was to be an example for all Christian families.
Graciously accept our family,
which we dedicate and consecrate to You this day.
Be pleased to protect, guard, and keep it
in holy fear, in peace,
and in the harmony of Christian charity.
By conforming ourselves to the Divine model
of Your family,
may we attain to eternal happiness.
A Prayer for a Child’s Return to the Faith
You became Man, suffered, and died
to win salvation for all souls.
Look graciously on the soul of my child
who has drifted away from You and the Faith.
Grant him/her you grace
to see the error of his/her ways
and return to the fold of Your care.
Teach me to stay close to him/her
during this trying time
and strive to convert him/her by action and prayers
more than by words that I may antagonize.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust You
to do everything to bring my child back to You