st. john

Happy St. John's Day!

Today, December 27, marks the feastday of John, the beloved disciple. St. John did not die a martyr. According to tradition, he lived a long life and cared for Mary, the mother of Jesus, in her latter years.

St. John's feastday follows that of St. Stephen, and falls on the third day of Christmas.

St. John gave us a simple yet profound teaching: “Beloved, let us love one another” (1 John 4:7). It’s customary on this day to drink a cup of mulled cider or wine called wassail (the word literally means “be healthy”), and to thank God for the blessings of life and health.

John the Evangelist (Cimabue, circa 1301, Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Prayer for the day

Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Scripture readings (lectionary)

Psalm 92

Exodus 33:18-23

1 John 1:1-9

John 21:9-24


Enjoy a cup of "St. John's Wine" and drink a toast to family and friends. The easiest way to make St. John's Wine, or wassail, is to buy a bottle of red wine (merlot works well) and a packet of mulling spices. For each quart of wine, add 2 tablespoons of spices to a cheesecloth. Place the cheesecloth in the wine and simmer in a saucepan for about 20 minutes. Serve the wine hot, and garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange slice. It's a wonderfully warm drink for a cold winter's night.