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Mary, Mother of the Church and of our CongregationThe Solemnity of Mary is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary that celebrates her as the mother of Jesus. It is celebrated in the Western or Roman Liturgical Rites of the Catholic Church on January 1st, eight days after Christmas. In the Orthodox Christian Church, this feast is celebrated on December 26th.

This is also the first day of the new year. Although New Year’s Day is not celebrated by the Church, this day has been observed as a Holy Day of Obligation since early times, as it is linked to this feast of Mary. Each family and country has different traditional foods they eat on New Year’s Day, with lentils being the most common dish with its own superstition. The outstanding one is that ill-luck will befall those who do not eat lentils at the beginning of the year.  This day is also known as a celebration of traditional hospitality, visiting, and good cheer, mostly with a secular view, but there is no reason that this day, too, could not be sanctified in Christ.

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