Everyone has heard of the 12 Days of Christmas, if only from the repetitive “partridge in a pear tree” song; but the 12 days are actually from the birth of Jesus to the appearance of the Magi – the three kings as they are commonly called.

In the Catholic tradition, Christmas hymns are not sung during the Mass until midnight Mass on the eve of Christmas. They continue to be part of the celebration until the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6. A few songs, including “Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emanuel,” that are inviting or anticipating the arrival of the Christ Child are sung, but most are sung only during those 12 Days of Christmas.

For the last two years, the San José /St. Joseph’s mission church in La Cholla has presented a secular concert of familiar Christmas hymns to overflow crowds. This year, because of the Covid-19 health protocols, the concert will not be possible.

“We are all disappointed,” said Charlotte Keller, music minister for St. Joseph’s “but we will pray for a return of the concert next year.”

For this year, those who would like to hear and sing-along are invited to attend the 8 a.m., bilingual service each Sunday where Christmas carols, in both English and Spanish are part of the service throughout the 12 Days of Christmas.

To reach St. Joseph’s Church, take the road past the Sandy Beach Resorts and the sand road past Wrecked at the Reef toward La Cholla. The church is on the right and is clearly marked. For information about services or special activities, contact Bob Keller, sexton for the mission church, at 928-706-6928 or by e-mail at bob@keller.net.

A Nacimiento/Nativity Scene graces the altar at San José/St. Joseph’s mission church in La Cholla/Cholla Bay.