Tag Archives: Christmas

The Brightness of God

The brightness of God illumined the holy city Jerusalem,
and the nations will walk by its light.
Cf. Bar. 5:5

A Christmas crib in Cologne, Germany.

A Christmas crib in Cologne, Germany.

There are many wonderful traditions associated with Epiphany. Saint John Cantius in Chicago gathers them here.

Saint Ephrem the Syrian sings of the star and of John the Baptist:

In the Height and the Depth the Son had two heralds.— The star of light proclaimed Him from above—John likewise preached Him from beneath:— two heralds, the earthly and the heavenly.

The star of light, contrary to nature, shone forth of a sudden—less than the sun yet greater than the sun.— Less was it than he in manifest light— and greater than he in secret might because of its mystery.

The star of light shed its rays among them that were in darkness—and guided them as though they were blind—so that they came and met the great Light:— they gave offerings and received life and adored and departed.

From the Prayer after Communion on Epiphany:
Renewed by sacred nourishment, we implore your mercy, O Lord,
that the star of your justice may shine always bright in our minds
and that our true treasure may ever consist in our confession of you.
Through Christ our Lord.

The Holy Innocents

Today we celebrate the third companions of Christ, the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem who involuntarily shed their blood for the incarnate Lord.

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
s he refused to be consoled,
because they were no more.” ~Matthew 2:16-18

From the Church of the Visitation.

From the Church of the Visitation.

Today may we affirm the beauty and dignity of human life from the first moment of conception to natural death.

Saint John the Evangelist

John, Mary, and Mary Magdalene taking Christ down from the Cross. A della Robbia in Florence.

John, Mary, and Mary Magdalene taking Christ down from the Cross. A della Robbia in Florence.

Today we celebrate the second of the Companions of Christ, Saint John the Evangelist. During these twelve days of Christmas joy, we will be reading from his Epistle which affirms the reality of the humanity of the incarnate Christ. Also today, the blessing of wine is associated with John.

Merry Christmas! Let Us All Rejoice

From the Church of Shepherd’s Field in Bethlehem.

A child is born for us, and a son is given to us;
his scepter of power rests upon his shoulder,
and his name will be called Messenger of great counsel. ~Is. 9:6

The silver star in the Church of the Nativity where Christians venerate the birth of the Savior.

O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature
and still more wonderfully restored it,
grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ,
who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:n
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

From O Come, O Come, Emmanuel:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O Rex Gentium

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

From O Come, O Come, Emmanuel:
O come, Desire of Nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
O bid our sad divisons cease.
And be for us our King of Peace.

O Oriens

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Morning Star, splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

From O Come, O Come, Emmanuel:
O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

O Clavis David

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

From O Come, O Come, Emmanuel:
O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.