Poor St. Anastasia gets bumped by Christmas every year, so we never get to celebrate her properly. While the details of her life and Martyrdom are hazy and legendary, the celebration of her feast on this day in Jerusalem and in Rome (which at that time was imitating Jerusalem) predates the adoption of December 25 for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Originally in both East and West, the Epiphany was the only liturgical (and popular) celebration of the birth of Christ, including his manifestation – the meaning of “Epiphany.”
In the Middle Ages and later, the Roman tradition commemorated St. Anastasia in the Christmas Mass at Dawn, but that fell by the wayside in more recent years.
The name Anastasia means, in Greek, “Resurrection.” You can read all about her and the saga of her feast here.
If you get tired of Christmas carols, you might want to listen to this:
Or, a bit more modern but strikingly beautiful, this: