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sea be moved, and the fulness mare, et plenitudo ejus,
thereof; the world, and they orbis terrarum, et qui habi
that dwell therein. tant in eo.
The rivers shall clap their Flumina plaudent maim,
hands, the mountains shall re- simul montes exsultabunt a
rejoice together at the presence conspectu Domini; * quo
of the Lord; because he niam venit judicare terrain. cometh to judge and save the earth.
He shall judge the world Judicabit orbem terrarum
with justice, and the people in justitia: * et populos in
with equity. aequitate.
Ant. The Lord hath made Ant. Notum fecit Domi
known, alleluia! his Saviour, nus, alleluia, Salutare suum,
ft. He shall cry out to me, ft. Ipse invocabit me, al
B. "Thou art my Father," B. Pater meus es tu, al
Our Father. Pater noster.
The Pater noster having been recited, as in the two first Nocturns, the Priest says:
May the Almighty and mer- A vinculis peccatorum ciful Lord, deliver us from the nostrorum absolvat nos omchains of our sins. R. Amen. nipotens et misericors Do
minus. B. Amen.
Then are read the beginnings of the three Gospels, which are said in the three Masses of Christmas Day. To each portion of these Gospels is appended a passage from a Homily by one of the Holy Fathers.
The first of the three is that of St. Luke, and the Homily given is that of St. Gregory the Great. It relates the publishing of the Emperor Augustus' edict, commanding a census of the whole world. This seventh Lesson, according to the Ceremonial of the Roman Church, is to be sung by the Emperor, if he happen to be in Rome at the time; and this is done, in order to honour the Imperial power, whose decrees were the occasion of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem, and so fulfilling the designs of G>
which he had revealed to the ancient Prophets. The Emperor is led to the Pope, in the same manner as the Knight who had to sing the fifth Lesson; he puts on the Cope; two Cardinal-Deacons gird him with the sword, and go with him to the Ambo. The Lesson being concluded, the Emperor again goes before the Pope, and kisses his foot, as being the Vicar of the Christ whom he has just announced. This ceremony was observed in 14G8, by the Emperor Frederic III., before the then Pope, Paul II.
Benedictio. Evangelica lectio sit nobis salus, et protectio! B> Amen.
Lectio sancti Evangelii se-
Blessing. May the reading of the Gospel bring us salvation and protection. Bj. Amen.
Lesson from the holy Gospel
In illo tempore, exiit Edictum a Caesare Augusto, ut describeretur universus orbis. Et reliqua.
Homilia S. Gregorii Papae.
Quia, largiente Domino, Missarum solemnia ter hodie celebraturi sumus, loqui diu de Evangelica lectione non possumus; sed nos aliquid vel breviter dicere Redemptoris nostri Nativitas ipsa compellit. Quid est enim quod nascituro Domino, mundus describitur, nisi hoc quod aperte monstratur, quia ille apparebat in carne, qui electos suos adscriberet in aeternitate? Quo contra de reprobis per Prophetam dicitur: Delean
At that time, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. And the rest.
Homily of Saint Gregory,
Since, by the divine bounty, we are, this day, thrice to celebrate the solemn office of Mass, we cannot speak long on the lesson of the Gospel; and yet, this very Nativity of our Redeemer compels us to say something, nowever brief. Why, then, is it, that when our Lord was about to be born, the world is enrolled; if not that hereby is shown, that He^who appeared in the flesh, is He that would enrol his elect in eternity? Just as, when speaking of the repro
bate, the Prophet says: Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; and with the just, let them not be written. Then, again: Jesus is born in Bethlehem; 'tis well; for Bethlehem signifies a House of Bread, and Jesus said of himself: I am the living Bread, that came down from heaven. The place, therefore, in which he is born, had had the name of House of Bread given to it, because there would appear in the material reality of our flesh, He who was to refresh the souls of the elect with spiritual repletion. And, why is he born, not at his Mother's home, but away from it t Is it not, to show, how, by his assuming human nature, he was born, so to say, in a foreign country 1
B> Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, that bore the Son of the Eternal Father; and blessed are the breasts, that fed Christ the Lord, * Who deigned to be born, this day, of the Virgin, for the world's salvation.
y. A holy day hath shone upon us; come, ye Gentiles, and adore the Lord. * Who designed.
tur de libro viventium, et cum justis non scribantur. Qui bene etiam in Bethlehem nascitur: Bethlehem quippe domus panis interpretatur. Ipse namque est qui ait: Ego sum panis vivus qui de coelo descendi. Locus ergo, in quo Dominus nascitur, domus panis antea vocatus est: quia futurum profecto erat, ut ille ibi per materiam carnis appareret, qui electorum mentes interna satietate reficeret. Qui non in parentum domo, sed in via nascitur, ut profecto ostenderet, quia per humanitatem suam, quam assumpserat, quasi in alieno nascebatur.
B, Beata viscera Marie Virginis, quae portaverunt aeterni Patris Filium, et beata ubera, quae lactaverunt Christum Dominum, * Qui hodie pro salute mundi de Virgine nasci dignatus est.
Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis: venite Gentes, et adorate Dominum. Qui hodie.
The second of the three Gospels, which forms the subject of the eighth Lesson, is also taken from St. Luke, and the Homily is by St. Ambrose. It gives the description of the Shepherds going to the holy Stable.
Blessing. May our sins be wiped away by the words of the Gospel. ]$. Amen.
Benedictio. Per Evangelica dicta deleantur nostra delicta. Bj. Amen.
I. Lectio sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. Cap. II.
In illo tempore: Pastores loquebantur ad invicem: Transeamus usque Bethlehem, et videamus hoc verbum quod factum est, quod Dominus ostendit nobis. Et reliqua.
Homilia sancti Ambrosii
Videte Ecclesiae surgentis exordium: Christus nascitur, et Pastores vigilare coeperunt: qui gentium greges, pecudum more ante viventes, in caulam Domini congregarent, ne quos spiritualium bestiarum, per offusas noctium tenebras paterentur incursus. Et bene pastores vigilant, quos bonus pastor informat. Grex igitur populus, nox saiculum, pastores sunt sacerdotes. Aut fortasse etiam ille sit Pastor, cui dicitur : Esto vigilans et confirma; quia non solum Episcopos ad tuendum gregem Dominus ordinavit; sed etiam Angelos ordinavit.
Bj. Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis: * Et vidimus gloriam ejus,
floriam quasi Unigeniti a 'atre; plenum gratiae et veritatis.
Lesson of the holy Gospel according to Luke. Ch . II.
At that time the Shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word, that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed unto us. And the rest.
Homily of Saint Ambrose,
Here, see the beginning of the infant Church: Christ is born; and Shepherds are watching, as about to herd, into the Lord's fold, that Gentile flock, which had hitherto lived like brute animals, and this, lest, during the thick darkness of night, they might suffer from the attacks of spiritual wild beasts. And it is well said, that the Shepherds are watching, for Shepherds, trained by the Good Shepherd, do watch. So that, the Flock is the people : the Night is the world; the Shepherds are the Priests. Or, perhaps, we might interpret him to be the Shepherd, to whom it is said: Be thou watchful, and give strength; for, not only has our Lord set Bishops to guard the Flock, he has set the very Angels.
B. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: * And we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the OnlyBegotten of the Father; full of grace and truth.
ft. All things were made by 8. Omnia per ipsum facta him; and without him was sunt: et sine ipso factum made nothing. * And we saw. est nihil. Et vidimus. GloGlory be to the Father, &c. * ria. Et vidimus. And we saw.
The third Gospel, which forms the subject of the ninth Lesson, is the beginning of that according to St. John, and is commented by St. Augustine: it speaks of the Eternal Generation of the Word.
Blessing. May Christ, the Benedictio. Verba Sancti Son of God, teach us the Evangelii doceat nos Chriswords of the Holy Gospel. tus Filius Dei. R. Amen. R. Amen.
Lesson of the holy Gospel Lectio sancti Evangelii se
according to John. cundum Joannem.
Ch. I. Cap. J.
In the beginning was the
Homily of St. Augustine,
Lest thou shouldst think that this is some commonplace thing, as thou art wont to do when men talk to thee, hear what it is thou art to think: The Word was God. After this, some infidel Arian will come forward and tell me, that the Word of God was made. How is it possible, that the Word of God could be made, when God made all things by the Word? If this very Word of God was also made, by what other Word was he made? If thou reply, that the Word of the Word is the one by which he was made—then, I will answer
In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum. Et reliqua.
HomOia sancti Augustini
Ne vile aliquid putares, quale consuevisti cogitare, cum verba humans soleres audire, audi quid cogites, Deus erat Verbum. Exeat nunc nescio quis infidelis Arianus, et dicat, quia Verbum Dei factum est. Quomodo potest fieri? ut verbum Dei factum sit, quando Deus per Verbum fecit omnia 1 Si et Verbum Dei ipsum factum est, per quod aliud Verbum est? Si hoc dicis, quia hoc est Verbum Verbi, per quod factum est illud; ipsum dico ego unicum Fihum Dei . Si autem non dicis Verbum Verbi,