This upcoming Friday is the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus Christ or now known as the The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. On this date, the Church remembers that Jesus was fully human (and lest we forget, fully God) and subject to the Law of Moses as a 1st Century Palestinian Jew. On this date, we recognize that Jesus would have been circumcised according to the Old Testament law and the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph would have named him– Jesus or Joshua/ Yeshua (as it would’ve been known in Hebrew) which means ‘The Lord is my Salvation.’
This event in the life of Christ can be found in the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 2, verses 15-21 (which is also the Gospel reading for the day):
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Thomas Cranmer, in his Collect for the day, wrote the following:
Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man: Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today, traditionally, the Veni Creator Spiritus is sung or said: