Christmas Proclamation  

Posted by Joe Rawls

An ancient custom in the Roman liturgy is the solemn proclamation, or Kalenda, of the Nativity at the start of the Christmas Eve Mass.  A translation of the text as chanted in the video (made in St Peter's Basilica in 2012) appears below.


  In the twenty-fifth day of the month of December,

In the year five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;

In the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven from the flood;

In the year two thousand and fifty-one from the birth of Abraham;

In the year one thousand five hundred and ten from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses;

In the year one thousand and thirty-two from the anointing of David as king;

In the fifty-sixth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

In the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the foundation of the city of Rome;

In the forty-second year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus;

In the sixth age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace--

JESUS CHRIST  eternal God and the Son of the eternal Father, willing to consecrate the world by His gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit, and the nine months of His conception being now accomplished, was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary and made flesh.

The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the flesh.

On the Night of the Nativity  

Posted by Joe Rawls

St Ephraim the Syrian (306 to ca 373), with over 400 hymns and poems attributed to him, is one of Christianity's most prolific hymnodists.  Written originally in Syriac, they were translated into Greek at an early stage, and thence became widely known throughout the church.  Typical is "On the Night of the Nativity", reproduced below.  Hat-tip to the Orthodox Christian Network website.

Pure is the present night, in which the Pure One appeared, Who came to purify us!  Let our hearing be pure, and the sight of our eyes chaste, and the feeling of the heart holy, and the speech of the mouth sincere!

The present night is the night of reconciliation; therefore, let no one be wroth against his brother and offend him!

This night gave peace to the whole world, and so, let no one threaten.  This is the night of the Meek One; let no one be cruel!

This is the night of the Humble One; let no one be proud!

Now is the day of joy; let us not take revenge for offenses!  Now is the day of good will; let us not be harsh.  On this day of tranquility, let us not become agitated by anger!

Today God came unto sinners; let not the righteous exalt himself over sinners!

Today the Most Rich One became poor for our sake; let the rich man invite the poor to his table!

Today we received a gift which we did not ask for; let us bestow alms to those who cry out to us and beg!

The present day has opened the door of heaven to our prayers; let us also open our door to those who ask of us forgiveness!

Today the Godhead placed upon Himself the seal of humanity, and humanity has been adorned with the seal of the Godhead!