"The Church presents to us the 'first fruits' of these 'true Christians,' those who by their works, and even by their death, having sung the glory of the Redeemer. We see them in the retinue of the divine Child, like angels on earth, who unite their hymn to that of the angels in heaven."
Dominus dixit ad me:
Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.
The Lord hath said to me: Thou art My Son, this day I have begotten Thee.
- Introit: Mass for Christmas Day (midnight)
“Arise … Mary invites all, rich and poor, just and sinners to enter the cave of Bethlehem, to adore and to kiss the feet of her new-born Son. Go in, then … go and see the Creator of heaven and earth on a little hay, under the form of a little Infant; but so beautiful that He sheds all around rays of lights. Now that He is born and is lying on the straw, the cave is no longer horrible, but is become a paradise. Let us enter, let us not be afraid …
‘Lord, I should not have dared to approach Thee, seeing myself so deformed by my sins, but since Thou, my Jesus, dost invite me so courteously, and dost call me so lovingly, I will not refused. After having so many times turned my back upon Thee, I will not add this fresh insult, namely, that of refusing this affectionate, this loving invitation, out of distrust.’ Say to Him: ‘Thou must know that I am poor, and that I have nothing to give Thee. I have nothing but this heart; this I now offer to Thee ….
I am a sinner, it is true, and I do not deserve to be pardoned; but I come before Thee, Who, being God, hast become a little Child to obtain pardon for me. Eternal Father, if I merit hell, look at the tears of Thy innocent Son; they invoke Thy pardon on my behalf. Thou dost deny nothing to the prayers of Thy Son …
“Most holy Mary, thou art the Mother of this great Son, but who art also my Mother, it is to thee that I consecrate my poor heart; present it to Jesus; and He will not refuse to receive it, when presented by thee. Do thou then, present it, and beg Him to accept it.”
Exhortation read during the Kissing of the Feet of the Holy Infant on Christmas
- adapted from St. Alphonsus Ligouri
May the joy of Our Lady be yours on this most blessed day, when Our Savior came into the world, and your hearts rejoice with the angels in singing Glory to God in the Highest!
We wish you, your family, and your loved ones a holy and merry Christmas.
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:
Come and save us, O Lord our God
“Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel.”
Listen to the chanted Antiphon
And he shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war. (Isaiah 2:4)
For behold the day shall come kindled as a furnace: and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall set them on fire, says the Lord of hosts, it shall not leave them root, nor branch. But unto you that fear my name, the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings: and you shall go forth, and shall leap like calves of the herd. And you shall tread down the wicked when they shall be ashes under the sole of your feet in the day that I do this, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 4:1-3)
The average Christian is well acquainted with the Church's recommendation to prepare for major liturgical feasts (including the feasts of saints) through the praying of a novena, most commonly prayed nine days preceding the feast. The coming of the Messiah's birth is of no exception!
Today the Advent season is not often a season which one associates with penance and fasting. However, when one dives into the Church's traditions, the Ember Days & Fasts were held in esteem as the way to begin the Liturgical Seasons.