Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Quem vidistis, pastóres? dícite, annuntiáte nobis, in terris quis appáruit? * Natum vídimus, et choros Angelórum collaudantes Dóminum. V. Dícite, quidnam vidistis? et annuntiáte Christi nativitátem. Natum vídimus. Gloria Patri. Natum vídimus. (The third responsory of Christmas Matins.)

The Adoration of the Shepherds, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1483-5, from the Sassetti Chapel at the church of the Holy Trinity in Florence. The artist portrayed himself as the shepherd closest to the Christ Child, pointing Him out to the others; his hand is also right next to the garland sculpted on the sarcophagus being used as a manger, since his name derives from the Italian word for ‘garland.’ The Latin inscription on the sarcophagus refers to a legend that when the Romans captured Jerusalem in 63BC, an augur named Fulvius, who was killed in the seige, had prophesied  the coming of Christ: “As he fell by Pompey’s sword in Jerusalem, the augur Fulvius said ‘The urn that covereth me shall bring forth a god.’ ”
R. Whom have ye seen, o shepherds? Speak, and announce to us what ye have seen; who hath appeared upon the earth? * We have seen a new-born Child, and choirs of angels praising the Lord. V. Tell us, what have ye seen? and announce the birth of Christ! We have seen. Glory be. We have seen.

A glorious polyphonic setting by Victoria.

On behalf of the publisher and writers of New Liturgical Movement, I wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas, and every blessing from the Child that is born unto us! By the prayers of the Holy Mother of God and all the Saints, may God grant the world peace in the coming year.

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