Sunday, December 24, 2006

In Vigilia Nativitatis Domini

A blessed Vigil and Feast of the Nativity to all readers of the NLM.

Introit: Ex. 16. 6, 7; Ps. 23. 1
This day you shall know that the Lord will come, and save us: and in the morning you shall see His glory. Ps. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world, and all they that dwell therein. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

O God, Who year by year makest us to look forward in joy of heart to the festival of the Birth of Thine only-begotten Son; grant that, even as we now gladly welcome Him for our Redeemer, so we may trustfully go forth to meet Him when He shall one day return as our Judge. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Gradual: Ex. 16. 6,7; Ps. 79. 2-3
This day you shall know that the Lord will come, and save us; and in the morning you shall see His glory. Ps. Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep; Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim, appear before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses.

Alleluia: Esdr. 4. 16, 53.
Alleluia, Alleluia. Tomorrow the iniquity of the earth shall be done away; and the Saviour of the world shall reign over us. Alleluia.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. -- Luke 2: 1-11

"...for Christ took on Himself the reality not the likeness of flesh; nor does He say in the likeness of sin, for He did no sin, but was made sin for us. Yet He came "in the likeness of sinful flesh;" that is, He took on Him the likeness of sinful flesh, the likeness, because it is written: "He is man, and who shall know Him?" He was man in the flesh, according to His human nature, that He might be recognized, but in power was above man, that He might not be recognized, so He has our flesh, but has not the failings of this flesh. For He was not begotten, as is every man, by intercourse between male and female, but born of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin." -- St. Ambrose of Milan

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