Sunday, December 24, 2006

CHRISTMAS EVE: The ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

THE SOLEMN PROCLAMATION OF CHRISTMAS

The Eighth of the Calends of January
The year from the creation of the world,
when in the beginning God created heaven and earth,
five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine:
From the deluge, the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven:
From the birth of Abraham, the year two thousand and fifteen:
From Moses and the going out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the year one thousand five hundred and ten:
From David's being anointed king, the year one thousand and thirty-two: In the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel:
In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad:
From the building of the city of Rome, the year seven hundred and fifty-two:
In the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus:
The whole world being in peace:
In the sixth age of the world:
Jesus Christ, the eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wishing to consecrate this world by his most merciful coming, being conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months since his conception having passed, In Bethlehem of Juda, is born of the Virgin Mary, being made Man:
THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE FLESH

In the great Churches of Christendom, in Cathedrals and Moansteries throughout the world at Prime this solemn proclamation of Christmas was sung, with acolytes and in some places even incense. The Chant is extra-ordinary too moving to the tone for the Passion when telling directly of the Lord. If you are doing this at home remember to genuflect as soon as Bethlehem is mentioned and continue thus to the end.
Unfortunately Prime has been abolished, so those of us who find this traditional mish-mash of misplaced dates charming do odd things like sing it at sometime before or after the morning Mass, or Morning Prayer or even, God forefend, before Midnight Mass. This year I am going to sing it at a separate service after our main Sunday Mass for people who want to stay behind for it. I love the idea of: The whole world being in peace.The point of it is to state God, the timeless stepped into human history and time, the infinite becomes finite.

1 comment:

Henry said...

This gives the impression that the Incarnation was an event that actually happened in human history.