Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!

Beáta víscera Maríae Vírginis, quae portavérunt aeterni Patris Filium: et beáta úbera, quae lactavérunt Christum Dóminum: * Qui hodie pro salúte mundi de Vírgine nasci dignátus est. V. Dies sanctificátus illuxit nobis: veníte, gentes, et adoráte Dóminum. Qui hódie... (The seventh 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 siege, 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. Blessed be the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the Eternal Father, and blessed be the breasts which give milk to Christ the Lord, * Who on this day hath deigned to be born of a Virgin for the salvation of the world. V. A hallowed day hath dawned upon us; o come, ye nations, and worship the Lord. Who on this day...
A recording in Gregorian chant by the seminarians of the Fraternity of St Peter’s European seminary, from their recently released album of the whole of Christmas Matins, Sancta Nox.
A polyphonic setting by the Portuguese composter João Rodrgues Esteves (ca. 1700-51).
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 peace and healing to the Church and to the world in the coming year.

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