The feast is dedicated both to the first bloodletting of Our Lord, when He subjected Himself to the ignominy of circumcision, in accordance with the Mosaic Law, and constitutes the oldest Marian feast celebrating the Maternity of Mary.
The prayers of the feast are taken from an ancient feast day of the BVM which was long ago celebrated in Rome. The Collect and Postcommunion are from the Votive Mass of the BVM.
The Gospel relates the Circumcision.
The 2nd January is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. The Gospel of the octave day is repeated, and the emphasis is placed upon the name "Jesus" given to Our Lord, in accordance with Jewish custom, at His circumcision. The feast has been celebrated on the Universal Calendar of the Church since the XVII Century. The two feast days are thus connected closely.