Commentary from THE ANNOTATED
BOOK OF COMMON
PRAYEREdited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT
Rivingtons, London, 1884
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
The Lord's Day within the Octave of Christmas carries on, of necessity,
the idea of the preceding festival, forming a kind of "Low Sunday" to Christmas
Day itself. There is no change of Collect, but the Epistle and gospel
strike a new chord in the harmony of the Eucharistic Scriptures.
On Christmas Day they memorialized the condescension of the Word of God
in becoming Son of Man: on this day they set forth the exaltation of human
Nature by that condescension. On the one day, the Son of God is shewn
to us becoming the Son of Man: on the other, the sons of men are shewn
to us becoming the sons of God, through the Adoption won for them by the
Holy Child Jesus. We are "heirs of God through Christ," because of
the fulfilment of the promise conveyed by His Name, "He shall save His
people from their sins."
The genealogies were struck out of the Gospel of the Day by Bishop Cosin
in 1661: and he proposed to insert a note at the end of the Gospel, "This
Collect, Epistle, and Gospel are to be used only till the Circumcision."