It is a well-known fact that there are several different themes to be found in the Mass and Office of January 1st, which is simultaneously the feast of the Circumcision, the octave of Christmas, and a celebration of the divine maternity of the Virgin Mary. Another element is one of protest against the excesses of the pagan celebration of the New Year; anciently, this was expressed in the Roman Rite by a special Mass “ad prohibendum ab idolis – to prohibit from idols”, also to be sung on that day.The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, with an idol

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